The journal Nature Methods has chosen single-cell multimodal omics as the Method of the Year 2019. This is a big acknowledgment of a new paradigm in cell biology research. Multimodal analysis enables the simultaneous measurement of multiple modalities or the integration of data from multiple experiments. For a long time now, the advantages of sequencing mRNA (scRNA – Seq) in individual cells, with a view towards understanding cellular heterogeneity and regulation, have been widely acknowledged. Non-destructive methods of cell analysis like flow cytometry have also evolved alongside, now enabling multi-parameter measurements of protein marker expression. Other methods like mass spectrometry and protein profiling have also helped gain insights into proteomics. The obvious next step is to integrate all the ‘omics’ approaches by combining the data sets to get a holistic view of both gene and protein expression, enabling unparalleled insights into the actual biology of cells.
This new paradigm has been enabled largely due to advancements in technology and by developments in biochemistry and molecular biology. The recent years have seen great improvements in the sensitivity and robustness of these experimental approaches.
BD, through its flow cytometry, reagents and Multi-Omics portfolios, has long since been one of the forerunners in the development of this paradigm.