A New Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Protocol with Potential for Universal Usage Discovered by Researchers

Medicine and science have progressed so far that they have reached the molecular and cellular levels. Over the last few years, using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has resulted in numerous discoveries and innovations in molecular medicine. RNA sequencing is a genetic approach for detecting and counting messenger RNA molecules in biological samples, which is good in figuring out how cells work. Researchers published the first result in single-cell RNA sequencing in 2009. There has been a surge of interest in single-cell RNA-seq investigations. One of the strongest justifications is that single cell-RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) can accurately describe RNA molecules in individual cells at a genomic scale.

A Hairpin Loop From a Pre-mRNA

A Hairpin Loop From a Pre-mRNA. Image Credit: Vossman

The Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology in Basel (IOB) has developed a new single-cell RNA-sequencing technology that results in the clinical detection of a significant increase in the number of genes per cell. This new approach has a higher detection rate than any other. It is also faster, less expensive, and more sensitive. Nature Biotechnology journal published this research quite recently.

Read Also: Researchers Finally Generate the First-Ever Complete Sequence of the Human Genome

So, what about the new sequencing protocol?

Offering many benefits to clinical manufacturing single-cell RNA-sequencing is critical for determining which genes in a cell are active and the transcription levels. This enables a holistic assessment of the biology of individualized cells and the detection of alterations that may signal cell disease. The scRNA-seq methodology is necessary for various fields, including developmental biology, neurology, oncology, immunology, cardiovascular studies, and infectious illnesses. Single-cell RNA-sequencing can investigate population heterogeneity, find minority sub-populations of interest, and distinguish distinctive properties of individual cells. The scRNA-seq technique has applications far beyond ophthalmology. It is applied to investigate de novo germline mutations and somatic mutations in normal and sick cells, such as cancer cells.

The procedure created at IOB in collaboration with Novartis Institutes BioMedical Research scientists can be used to analyze any disease model that requires a high-resolution investigation of uncommon cell populations.

The head of IOB Single-Cell Genomics Platform and senior author of the work, Simone Picelli, explains that the modular FLASH-seq approach gives a high-resolution snapshot of the cell transcriptome. The new method of RNA sequencing can be cut down, mechanized, and tailored to meet various requirements. It aids in the identification of gene isoforms in health and disease. It also gives a more detailed picture of gene expression, particularly when disrupted by diseases, developmental disorders, or external agents. Furthermore, it is simple to set up in the lab, 50 percent faster and cheaper than equivalent existing techniques, allowing researchers to investigate genetic causes of diseases currently beyond the reach of single-cell sequencing tools.

Read Also: Researchers Scan Single-Molecules of Peptides with Nanopore Sequencing Technology

Clinical significance

Using single-cell RNA sequencing in evaluating the level of heterogeneity in cells is a substantial clinical benefit. Rare cells that could be missed in a pooled cell sample can also be confirmed. Its clinical application could detect malignant tumor cells within a tumor mass. Single-cell RNA sequencing can be applied to identify cells individually. In less than 12 hours, the new sequencing process can provide ready libraries.


Researchers at the IOB feel that FLASH-sequencing has the potential to be a tool of choice when looking for a more efficient, robust, modular, inexpensive, and automation-friendly full-length single-cell RNA sequencing process, according to the achievements revealed in the new study.

Read Also: New mRNA Technology Could Usher in a New Era in Disease Management


Fast and highly sensitive full-length single-cell RNA sequencing using FLASH-seq



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