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Chinese researchers construct human cell landscape at single-cell level

HANGZHOU, March 26 (Xinhua) — A team of Chinese researchers have constructed a scheme for the human cell landscape (HCL) at the single-cell level, providing a valuable resource for human biology.

A paper on the study, conducted by the team led by Guo Guoji with the School of Medicine of Zhejiang University, was published on Thursday in the online edition of the journal Nature.

Using a self-developed method of single-cell mRNA sequencing, the researchers have been able to determine the cell-type composition of all major human organs, according to the paper.

Guo’s team revealed a single-cell hierarchy for many tissues that have not been well characterized and established a “single-cell HCL analysis” pipeline that helps to define human cell identity, said the paper.

“In a nutshell, what we have done is the digitalization of human cells,” said Guo. “We can use the digital matrix to describe the characteristics of each cell and classify them systematically.”

“We have also defined many previously unknown cell types and found some specific patterns of expression,” Guo added.

In the future, clinicians may be able to use the research data to identify the states and origins of abnormal cells by referring to normal cells, said the researchers.

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