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Nature. 2017 Jan 18;541(7637):331-338. doi: 10.1038/nature21350.

Scaling single-cell genomics from phenomenology to mechanism.

Tanay A1,2, Regev A3,4,5.

Author information

1
Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
2
Department of Biological Regulation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
3
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
4
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, USA.
5
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

Three of the most fundamental questions in biology are how individual cells differentiate to form tissues, how tissues function in a coordinated and flexible fashion and which gene regulatory mechanisms support these processes. Single-cell genomics is opening up new ways to tackle these questions by combining the comprehensive nature of genomics with the microscopic resolution that is required to describe complex multicellular systems. Initial single-cell genomic studies provided a remarkably rich phenomenology of heterogeneous cellular states, but transforming observational studies into models of dynamics and causal mechanisms in tissues poses fresh challenges and requires stronger integration of theoretical, computational and experimental frameworks.

PMID:
28102262
PMCID:
PMC5438464
DOI:
10.1038/nature21350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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