Solo: doublet identification in single-cell RNA-seq via semi-supervised deep learning

Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) measurements of gene expression enable an unprecedented high-resolution view into cellular state. However, current methods often result in two or more cells that share the same cell-identifying barcode; these “doublets” violate the fundamental premise of single-cell technology and can lead to incorrect inferences. Researchers from Calico Life Sciences have developed Solo, a semi-supervised deep learning approach that identifies doublets with greater accuracy than existing methods. Solo embeds cells unsupervised using a variational autoencoder and then appends a feed-forward neural network layer to the encoder to form a supervised classifier. The developers train this classifier to distinguish simulated doublets from the observed data. Solo can be applied in combination with experimental doublet detection methods to further purify scRNA-seq data to true single cells.

Availability – Solo is freely available from

Bernstein NJ, Fong NL, Lam I, Roy MA, Hendrickson DG, Kelley DR. (2020) Solo: Doublet Identification in Single-Cell RNA-Seq via Semi-Supervised Deep Learning. Cell Syst [online ahead of print]. [article]

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