Advances in transcriptomics give single cell views of brain development and disease

October 21, 2019

CHICAGO -- Advances in high-throughput RNA sequencing technologies are opening windows into how normal and pathological brain processes develop at the single cell level. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

RNA transcripts produced in a cell can highlight the cellular processes and mechanisms at work in specific circumstances or in a specific cell type. As technological improvements make the study of a cell's complete set of RNA transcripts -- its transcriptome -- more achievable, scientists are beginning to apply transcriptomics to the study of the central nervous system to gain a better understanding of genetic and epigenetic changes that underlie brain development and disease.

Today's new findings show that:"The neuroscience research presented today shows that advances in transcriptomics technology overcome basic challenges in neuroscience by letting us look inside the molecular machinery of brain cells, one cell at a time," said press conference moderator Naomi Habib, PhD, an assistant professor at Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) who studies cognitive decline and resilience is a pioneer in single cell transcriptomics. "These advances give us a better understanding of the process of normal development as well as more insight into pathological states, such as drug addiction and neurodegenerative disease."

This research was supported by national funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health and private funding organizations. Find out more about transcriptomics on

Related Neuroscience 2019 Presentation

Minisymposium: Novel Mechanisms of Neuronal Alternative Splicing and Strategies to Correct Aberrant-Splicing

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m., Room S102

Transcriptomics Press Conference SummaryEpigenetic Priming Underlies Transcriptional Disruption Linked to Cocaine Relapse

Philipp Mews,, Abstract 453.07Single Cell Transcriptomic Analysis of Human Cortical Development Throughout the Prenatal and Postnatal Life

Arnold Kriegstein,, Abstract 010.04Single Cell Transcriptome Identifies Conserved Transcriptomic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease

Vivek Swarup,, Abstract 014.03
About the Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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