In situ sequencing enables gene activity inside body tissues to be depicted in microscope images. To facilitate interpretation of the vast quantities of information generated, Uppsala University researchers have now developed an entirely new method of image analysis. Based on algorithms used in artificial intelligence, the method was originally devised to enhance understanding of social networks. The researchers’ study is published in The FEBS Journal.
The tissue composing our organs consists of trillions of cells with various functions. All the cells in an individual contain the same genes (DNA) in their nuclei. Gene expression occurs by means of “messenger RNA” (mRNA)—molecules that carry messages from the nucleus to the rest of the cell, to direct its activities. The mRNA combination thus defines the function and identity of every cell.
RNA transcripts are obtainable through in situ sequencing. The researchers behind the new study had previously been