Broad Technology Lab Refining Automated Single Cell RNA-seq, Digital Gene Expression Services

from GenomeWeb by Andrew P. Han

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Scientists interested but not well versed in transcriptome profiling can now go to the Broad Institute for help. The Broad Technology Labs Specialized Services Facility offers automated services for high-throughput characterization of both single cells and populations of cells.

Both services are based on high-throughput 3′ digital gene expression protocols Tarjei Mikkelson, a scientist at the Broad Technology Labs, told GenomeWeb. “It’s based on an old concept that you can measure gene expression by sequencing tags or small fragments from each transcript in a cell to measure expression levels of genes,” he said, noting the contrast to RNA-seq methods where the goal is to sequence an entire transcriptome or to get splicing info.

 Single-cell RNA barcoding and sequencing (SCRB-SEQ) and high-throughput digital gene expression (HT-DGE) are essentially the same method, Mikkelson said. “We first developed SCRB-SEQ but we realized pretty quickly it’s the same steps, and the same method was applicable to more than one cell.”
Mikkelson said there seems to be a sweet spot for labs looking for rich phenotyping of samples in a range between hundreds of samples and and thousands of samples. “RNA-seq is becoming a good alternative for getting that at a simple cost,” he said.

(read more at GenomeWeb…)


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