Single-cell technology

Single cell technologies are becoming increasingly important tools in biological analysis. Complementing average measurements on bulk populations of cells, single-cell measurements provide a finer-grained picture of complex biology and unmask heterogeneity that is present in tissues. With the increasing sophistication of microfluidics, electrophysiology measurements, high-resolution imaging, deep sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms, a more detailed picture of cellular subtype, physical location in tissue, and clonal evolution is emerging. Moreover, the exquisite sensitivity of these approaches is enabling the identification of rare cells of potential functional or pathogenic consequence. This mini-focus brings together a set of articles that explores key issues in analyzing, integrating and applying single-cell data with an emphasis on challenges for the field.