DNA is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases or nucleotides, abbreviated A, G, C and T. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.
Samples of DNA, genes and cells are extracted from any organism, for example patients or plants, then sequenced to typically determine if the DNA contains mutations, which genes are expressed and where the genes are expressed. The information could be used for various purposes such as diagnosing cancer, non-invasive prenatal test, drug prescription and forensic.
Sequencing is the method to determine the order of DNA nucleotides in an individual's genetic code. To determine the sequence of a batch of the same type of cells Next Generation Sequencing has become indispensable, speeding up the process and reducing the cost. NGS makes it possible to sequence a human genome in only days to weeks, but imaging and fluidics are still limiting the capacity.
A new application is to sequence the RNA in individual cells to be able to differentiate and identify cell types with a much higher accuracy and give better insights into how neighboring cells interact. This requires that both the sequences can be detected and the cells can be visualized in 3D.
The recent advances in single-cell genomics analysis of cells and tissues has initiated the Human Cell Atlas project, a global effort comparable to the Human Genome project to create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells.
In situ Sequencing
in Collaboration with SciLifeLab
In situ sequencing in single cells and tissue
In-situ RNA seq is a new method of sequencing a cells's RNA while it remains in tissue or culture using next-generation sequencing. Compared with other approaches histological context and spatial information are preserved, and In-situ RNA seq has the potential to transform several areas of research, including drug development in many diseases and characterizing all the possible cells states in the body.
Single is collaborating with SciLifeLab, one of the two leading institutions pioneering the development of In-situ RNA seq. The fast 3D imaging of large areas without compromising single molecule sensitivity and diffraction limited resolution enables the method to reach its full potential, and the capabilities of the fluidic system streamlines the chemistry.
Next Generation Sequencing
Why improve NGS in the era of the $1000 genome? The next step is population genomics to realize the full potential of Big Data and AI for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatments, but it can only be enabled with substantially faster and cheaper sequencing to generate the need amount of data.
Single’s technology both speeds up the sequencing and brings down the cost for the chemistry. The efficiency is increased in every part of the process, with fast large area, single molecule sensitive and diffraction limited scanning, rapid exchange of liquids and less need of reagents, and new methods for dense patterning of substrate surfaces.