Capturing a snapshot of how cells interact

Scientists can now take snapshots of where and how thousands of genes are expressed in intact tissue samples, ranging from a slice of a human brain to the embryo of a fly.

The technique, reported in Science, can turn a microscope slide into a tool for creating data-rich, three-dimensional maps of how cells interact with one another — a key to understanding the origins of diseases such as cancer. The methodology also has broader applications, enabling researchers to create, for instance, unique molecular ‘barcodes’ to trace connections between cells in the brain, a stated goal of the US National Institutes of Health’s Human Connectome Project.

Read the full, original story: RNA activity mapped across cells

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