Developmental Biology

Dissect development at single-cell resolution.

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Developmental biology is not just about helping us understand who we are - understanding it also gives us insights into applications in congenital disorders and regenerative medicine.

As each cell develops it decides its own fate. Progenitor cells differentiate into lineage-restricted cell types and follow paths to distinct fates.

Single-cell RNA sequencing can add new insights by studying differentiation states of cells as an organism develops.

Reconstruct differentiation processes

In many biological systems, cells follow a differentiation pathway where they go through several differentiation stages.

Single-cell RNA sequencing allows the monitoring of cells as they differentiate, along with their individual or characteristic pathways, and their underlying mechanisms.

Single-cell RNA sequencing provides a static snapshot of the differentiating cells you are studying, but there are trajectory inference algorithms that can be used to analyze the complex data.

An algorithm like this allows you to place your cells along a trajectory following the same process.

As differentiating cells tend to not just follow one linear trajectory but often go through several cell fate decision moments towards a particular lineage, the pseudotime analyses often result in tree-like models where potential cell fate decision points are evident.

Identify the mechanisms behind regeneration

Regeneration, the reactivation of developmental processes in later life to restore missing tissues, can be studied in great detail with Single-cell RNA sequencing.

It allows you to identify the molecular processes behind the regeneration process you are studying, or potentially find the responsible stem cell.

You can use your findings to contribute to regenerative applications.

Study congenital disease

Identifying the differential states of organisms in development is a big step in further understanding developmental biology.

Single-cell RNA sequencing can also take you one step further in giving you an in-depth insight into developmental errors that underlie congenital diseases.

It allows you to study the embryonic structures in developmental mutants at a single-cell resolution to gain insight into the faulty mechanisms that give rise to major developmental disorders down the line.

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