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Frequently Asked Questions

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Spatial Biology is the most consequential revolution in life science. But what does it mean, and how does it work? As the world of biology progresses toward new frontiers, you probably have questions.

We are here to answer on this comprehensive FAQ page.

Spatial Biology

What is spatial biology?

Spatial biology is the study of molecules in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional context. Using spatial biology techniques, the users can visualize molecules in their unique contexts within individual cells and tissues. Learn more »

Why is spatial biology important?

Spatial biology is important because it allows the user to study how molecules interact in a three-dimensional setting. Since the body also exists in three dimensions, spatial biology techniques give a more precise view of molecular processes in cells and tissues. Learn more »

What is spatial profiling?

Spatial profiling is the combination of two molecular biology techniques, high-plex gene expression analysis and immunofluorescence. Spatial profiling leverages both technologies to spatially resolve gene expression. For instance, one can use immunofluorescence to identify a region of interest, then collect all expression transcripts in that area. Learn more »

Why is spatial profiling important?

Spatial profiling is important because at the molecular level, form implies function. Understanding how gene expression works in a three-dimensional context is important for a fuller understanding of molecular and cellular biology. Learn more »

What is spatial sequencing?

Spatial sequencing is viewing a specific area or a region within a tissue, then sequencing all transcripts found in that region. Spatial sequencing allows the user to map variation in gene expression across a tissue or region of interest. Learn more »

What are the advantages of single-cell sequencing?

The advantages of single-cell sequencing are that it allows the users to look at specific, unique, or rare cell types within their specific biological context. Previous bulk sequencing experiments that generalized across tissues resulted in the loss of important signals. With single-cell sequencing, individual cells can be chosen and studied based on the research question. Learn more »

What is the difference between single-cell RNA-Seq and RNA-Seq?

The difference between single-cell RNA-Seq and RNA-Seq is workflow. In standard RNA-Seq, all cells from a tissue are maintained in one sample, and these transcripts are sequenced. This gives the user an overview of transcriptional dynamics in a tissue. In single-cell RNA-Seq, cells are sorted first, then specific cells of interest are sequenced. Learn more »

How does spatial sequencing work?

Spatial sequencing works by combining immunofluorescence with next-generation sequencing. Samples are stained with fluorescently labeled antibodies or probes. Using a spatial biology setup, the user selects a region of interest, then uses ultraviolet light to release molecular tags. These tags are then processed using next-generation sequencing. Learn more »

Spatial Genomics

Why is spatial genomics important?

Spatial genomics are important because the human body is a complex three-dimensional structure. That structure is an important part of our molecular physiology. To fully understand genomics requires that we examine it in a spatially resolved manner. Learn more »

What is spatial genomics & transcriptomics?

Spatial genomics includes genomic (total DNA and RNA), transcriptomic (RNA transcripts) and epigenomic (molecular compounds) profiling methods carried out in intact tissue with positional context. Spatial genomics enables to molecularly connect a particular genotype to its phenotype. Learn more »

What techniques are used in spatial genomics & transcriptomics?

Spatial genomics and spatial transcriptomics are naming variations for a technique whereby users can garner gene expression information in a spatial context. Using this technique, scientists can use next-generation sequencing to identify transcriptomics within a specific tissue or cellular context. Learn more »

Spatial Transcriptomics

What is spatial gene expression?

Spatial gene expression examines transcriptional dynamics through the lens of location within a tissue and/or transcriptional dynamics between unique cells within a tissue. With spatial gene expression, users get additional insights into cellular biology as they can get gene expression information within a given three-dimensional cellular context. Learn more »

Why is spatial gene expression important?

Spatial gene expression is the visualization of gene expression patterns in three-dimension within cells that are in their native state. Biology is inherently spatial, and individual cells do not function in isolation but work together, forming a complex network of gene interactions spatially to organize themselves and communicate with their surroundings. Learn more »

What does spatial transcriptomics do?

Spatial transcriptomics is a method that enables researchers to spatially localize and quantify gene expression in the form of mRNA transcripts within cells or tissues that are in their native state. Spatial transcriptomics offers an unbiased exploration of mRNA transcripts in situ that can be quantified. Learn more »

What is single-cell spatial transcriptomics?

Single-cell spatial transcriptomics is the analysis of mRNA expression profile with spatial context at the level of a single cell.  Each cell has a unique transcriptomic fingerprint as gene expression patterns can be heterogeneous even amongst similar cells in both standard and abnormal cell states. Learn more »

Single-Cell Imaging

Why is a single cell important?

Cells are a fundamental unit of life. A comprehensive understanding of how cells organize themselves in different layers of information to form tissues is not yet fully achieved.  Further, no matter how seemingly homogeneous a tissue might appear, it contains a diverse population of cells, all of which represent different manifestations of that tissue type. Learn more »

Why is single-cell analysis important?

Single-cell analysis encompasses the study of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics at single-cell resolution. As cells are the organism’s building blocks, they are organized in different layers of information to form tissues, and the position of each cell within a tissue has a physiological or morphological function. Learn more »

What is single-cell technique?

Single-cell techniques are advances in single-cell manipulation and amplification that have enabled the study of genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics at the level of a single cell. Learn more »

What is single-cell spatial transcriptomics?

Analysis of mRNA expression profile with spatial context at the level of a single cell is known as single-cell spatial transcriptomics. Each cell has a unique transcriptomic fingerprint as gene expression patterns can be heterogeneous even amongst similar cells in both standard and abnormal cell states. Learn more »

Is spatial transcriptomics single-cell resolution?

Yes. Recent advances in the field of spatial transcriptomics have made it possible to visualize RNA transcripts at the resolution of a single-cell and, in some cases, subcellular resolution. Learn more »

What is single-cell analysis used for?

Single-cell analysis can provide data on cellular phenotypes by studying the effects of genomic alterations, gene expression, and environmental influences at the level of a single cell. Learn more »

Which technique is used for single-cell isolation?

Techniques for single-cell isolation are primarily based on either the physical properties of the cell such as size, density, and electric changes, or on cellular biological characteristics such as surface protein expression. Learn more »

Spatial Multiomics

What is spatial multiomics?

Spatial multiomics integrates the study of the whole transcriptome of RNA expression (transcriptomics) and protein (proteomics) abundance with spatial context to provide a comprehensive understanding of various biological processes and diseases. Learn more »