I will begin the discussion with an overview of current DNA sequencing technologies, highlighting the most commonly used platform Illumina. These platforms are well adapted for bulk measurements where large quantities of DNA are obtainable. However, bulk measurements only provide an average description of a system and are insufficient to study rare cell populations or understand complex phenomena like cell differentiation. Further, the identities of distinct cell types that emerge during differentiation are regulated by factors collectively known as the epigenome, which includes DNA base modifications and chromatin accessibility.
To directly correlate the effects of the epigenome on cell identities, both the epigenome and gene expression need to be quantified simultaneously from the same single-cell. I will be discussing my progress in developing such novel single-cell techniques and their applications.