New methods enable the examination of single cells and their derivatives in large numbers. This opens up new possibilities for research and medical applications.
The analysis of single cells and their daughter cells is revolutionizing the biological sciences. Until recently, it was only possible to examine mixtures of cells from cultures, tissues, or organs. But with the technology to analyze every single cell, a more detailed and differentiated examination and understanding of cellular mechanisms becomes feasible. This is applicable for, e.g., the examination of the genome (genomics), epigenetic changes (epigenomics), cellular transcripts (transcriptomics) as well as metabolites (metabolomics). Two examples for applications of single-cell analysis are a more differentiated classification of cancer cells and improved genetic diagnostics.
The Group published a report on single-cell analysis, supported by the Network Single Cell Omics Germany (SCOG). Additionally, the topic was presented and debated at a panel discussion. The emphasis lies on the scientific basis, especially on the applications in the field of developmental biology, biomedicine and bioinformatics, as well as on possible social implications.