In recent years, the field of multiomics has undergone an increasing expansion of interest from the scientific community. Several techniques have been developed to gain an increase in resolution when studying cellular characteristics. Using multiomics technology, scientists can now rebuild cell lineage trajectories to further understand animal development, to unravel how cancer cells develop during carcinogenesis by linking mutations with cellular behavior, and to identify cell subtypes within a population of cells (Reviewed in 1).
Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) saw the light of day in the 1990s when the groups of James Eberwine (University of Pennsylvania Medical School) and Gerard Brady (Ontario Cancer Institute) with respective colleagues used PCR and in vitro transcription at single cell level (2, 3).
In more recent years, scRNA-seq was adapted and introduced to the omics era of the 21st century when Tang and colleagues exploited the possibilities of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for single cell characterization. This allowed them to discover several thousand more genes and unknown splice junctions using a single mouse blastomere than would have been possible with microarray technology, which would need hundreds of blastomeres (4). Since then, scRNA-seq technology has expanded rapidly with several different approaches that combine the pillars of the central dogma of molecular biology, as illustrated in Figure 1 (Reviewed in 1).