The Future Is Now: Single-Cell Genomics

photo of a DNA

Genomic information has come to play a vital role in many areas of biological research. Advancements in decrypting various types of genomics information has led to important insights that lead to fundamental discoveries, which in turn have addressed critical medical needs and improved health outcomes.

The Princess Margaret Genomics Centre (PMGC) operates with the aim of providing high-quality & cost-effective genomics services; their services range from standard and custom-tailored DNA sequencing technologies to proteo-genomic assays. Advancements in microfluidics technology has led to the development of numerous cost-effective single-cell genomics applications. This new, emerging field has become a niche which PMGC has developed an expertise in.

The human body consist of 30 to 40 trillion single cells, and despite vast research efforts over recent decades, there are still gaps in our knowledge of how many cell types function and communicate with each other in the context of whole organs and tissues. Teasing apart and characterizing the various functions and processes in cells requires concerted efforts in multiple fields of biology. One such field, termed genomics, examines the structure and function of the genome, and frequently relies on the technology of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) sequencing. Historically, DNA and RNA sequencing would be done by collectively sampling tens of thousands or millions of cells together in one sample, and the output reflects the pooled mixture. Signals coming rare cell types would be difficult to discern in a sea of millions of other cells.

With the advent of single-cell genomics technologies, researchers can now take a sample of complex tissue, dissociate it into a mixture of discrete single cells and extensively examine the transcriptomes and genomes of thousands to tens of thousands individual cells in a single experiment. Single-cell genomics has already led to the discovery of previously unrecognizable cell types, and to paradigm shifts in many areas of cell biology.

PMGC is a national leader in providing research access to single-cell genomics technologies.

In addition to PMGC being a 10X Genomics Certified Service Provider; the centre also offers a wide array of other single-cell genomics solutions such as Fluidigm C1, BD Rapsody, Mission Bio Tapestri & Celsee Genesis. Furthermore, PMGC provides clients with expert advice on experimental design and cell preparation methods that help to ensure that users are able to get the highest quality data from their experiments.

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