Insights into the hypertrophic heart with single-cell RNA sequencing

Heritable gene defects can cause the heart muscles to thicken and bring on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. How this occurs is not entirely clear. This blog describes how single-cell RNA sequencing helps understand the hypertrophic heart and provide directions for future genetic research. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heritable condition in which the heart thickens. It occurs in…

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Guiding SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development with single-cell RNA sequencing

The road to an improved coronavirus vaccine is complex. Yet, it is one of the most pressing challenges in the effort to protect against COVID-19. This blog describes how single-cell RNA sequencing helps map out the small steps toward vaccine improvement. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is far from an end. Vaccines are at the basis…

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Prediction of future relapse in MLL-rearranged infant ALL by single-cell RNA sequencing

In this blog, we describe how single-cell RNA sequencing allowed to predict which MLL- rearranged infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (MLL-r iALL) patients are at risk of relapse. Furthermore, it allowed for characterization of the nature of relapse-predicting cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in infants is often driven by a specific mutation, in which a part…

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A human liver model leads to therapeutic discovery for liver disease

In this blog, we will discuss how single-cell RNA sequencing contributed to the discovery of a therapeutic for the treatment of advanced liver disease.   Liver fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, which is a late-stage liver disease in which a large part of the liver tissue is replaced by fibrotic tissue, and to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)….

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Transcriptome of human FDCs reveals role in antigen presentation to B cells and regulation of T cells 

In this blog, we will discuss the contribution of single-cell RNA sequencing to uncovering the function of human follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) in the germinal center (GC) microenvironment.    The GC is a structure in secondary lymphoid tissues, such as tonsils, in which long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells and memory B cells are produced. Within the GC,…

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Transcription factors EOMES and T-BET regulate maturation of NK cells 

In this blog, we will discuss how two transcription factors influence the maturation of natural killer (NK) cells.   NK cells are cells of the innate immune system and are part of the group 1 innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). NK cells are important for antiviral and antitumor responses. Before NK cells are fully functionally active, they…

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The influence of lipid droplets on brain stem cells 

In this blog, we will discuss how lipid droplets can influence the stem cells in the brain. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can develop in different types of cells. In the brain, neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) have the potential to develop into neurons and other brain cells. Lipid metabolism influences the activity of NSPCs….

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Revealing an unexpected homogeneity in neuroblastoma

Tumors are usually very heterogeneous and consist of various cancer cell subtypes. Single-cell sequencing can be applied to understand this heterogeneity and often leads to identifying cancer cell subtypes. In this study, there is a surprising outcome: a homogeneous phenotype.   In this scientific collaboration between many institutes in the Netherlands and the UK, researchers were…

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A bronchioalveolar model for COVID-19

We are proud to present our contribution to the paper An Organoid‐derived Bronchioalveolar Model for SARS‐CoV‐2 Infection of Human Alveolar‐type II‐like Cells, published in EMBO Journal last week. COVID-19 patients can develop life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), resulting from a cascade of events triggered by alveolar injury. However, representative in-vitro models to study SARS-CoV-2…

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