As cells develop, changes in the interaction of our genes determine their fate. The differences in these genetic interactions can make our cells resistant to infection from viruses or enable our immune cells to kill cancer cells, the main thing is to understand the process of their change. A new technology, called unicellular RNA sequencing, has made it possible to study the behavior of genes in human and mammalian cells with unprecedented resolution and promises to accelerate scientific and medical discoveries. The study publishes the journal Nature Methods.
Scientists at the University of Sydney, together with a team of international employees from China, the USA, and the UK, have developed an analytical approach for unicellular sequencing, which is able to test changes in the behavior of genes in human tissues on a new scale. It has been called higher-order unicellular testing, or scHOT.
A team of researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of this method by identifying genes in mice whose variability changes in cells during the embryonic development of the liver.
Led by Professor Gene Young of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, the team also found new pairs of genes that are covariate in expression in the olfactory bulb of the mouse, an important tissue for understanding diseases of neural development.
Together, they illustrate scHOT as a powerful new tool that will detect hidden gene associations in human cells and facilitate the full exploitation of these advanced single-cell technologies for important biological discoveries.
This study will help detect hidden gene associations in our cells, providing a new way to view and describe biological complexity.