from Frontline Genomics by Megan Hickland
Genomic data are an excellent source of novel disease biomarkers and targets. In fact, genetically validated targets are twice as likely to achieve FDA approval (King et al. 2019). The next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology that underlies these discoveries is now commonplace in many research labs. Validation of target expression by RNA sequencing (bulk-RNA-seq) is also common once a gene of interest is identified. However, in a mixed population of cells, biomarkers and targets of interest are expressed at varying levels – bulk-RNA-seq is only capable of reporting on the average gene expression. As a result, important differences in gene expression as a function of cell type or location may be missed by researchers.