Waiting in the Wings – Why isn’t single-cell sequencing ready for clinical application?

From The Pathologist by Tian Yu

The accurate identification of cellular phenotype, intercellular signaling networks, and the spatial arrangement of cells within organs is critical to providing a deeper understanding of physiological processes and the disruptions that cause disease. Cellular heterogeneity is a common feature of many malignancies – and so, techniques that allow us to detect and characterize oncologic cellular heterogeneity can help advance cancer diagnostics and therapies.

One promising technology for characterizing cellular heterogeneity is single-cell sequencing. Conventional bulk sequencing methods use many cells, but lose cell heterogeneity information after the signals are summarized and averaged. Conversely, single-cell techniques use next-generation sequencing to analyze the genetic content of individual cells, providing valuable insights into their unique functional characteristics.


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