By Clifton Leaf and Sy Mukherjee
July 5, 2017

Greetings, readers! This is Sy. I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend—I’ll be filling in for Cliff for the rest of this short week.

Scientists from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have set out on a quest to map every single cell in the human body. It’s an ambitious task, and one that could prove integral to the “precision medicine” movement which seeks to ultimately tailor drug discovery and treatment to a person’s genetic makeup.

The goal here is to use “single-cell sequencing to understand how many different cell types there are in the human body, where they reside, and what they do,” as Nature reports. Researcher Aviv Regev’s “lab has gone from looking at 18 cells at a time to sequencing RNA from hundreds of thousands.”

Genomic sequencing is all the rage in biopharma these days, with multiple companies setting out to match disease-causing gene variations with the drugs which may be best-suited to tackle them. Regev’s and other scientists’ ongoing human cell atlas project could provide some much-needed insights on that front.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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