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New calculation method creates detailed maps of human tissues | News

November 03, 2022, 12:22 PM ISTSource: ANI

Researchers have developed a computational method to map the architecture of human tissues in unprecedented detail. Their approach promises to accelerate research on organ-scale cellular interactions and may enable powerful new diagnostic strategies for a wide variety of diseases. The method, published Oct. 31 in Nature Methods, arose out of scientists’ frustration at the gap between classical microscopy and modern single-cell molecular analysis. However, manually combining single-cell data with tissue structure maps is slow and tedious. Machine learning algorithms have shown some potential to automate the process, but they are limited by the data used to train them. To address that, Kim and his colleagues developed an unsupervised computational strategy, using a combination of single-cell gene expression profiles and cell locations to define structural regions in a tissue. The researchers used the new method to generate detailed maps of different types of tissues, identify and quantify new aspects of microanatomy — the small-scale patterns that develop when cells interact and determine tissue’s ultimate function.



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