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Cell Atlas

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Suggested by: Alon Vitenshtein


The Human Cell Atlas is a project to create a comprehensive map of all human cells. The cell is the core unit of the human body—the key to understanding the biology of health and the ways in which molecular dysfunction leads to disease. Yet our characterization of the hundreds of types and subtypes of cells in the human body is limited, based partly on techniques that have limited resolution and classifications that do not always map neatly to each other. Genomics has offered a systematic approach, but it has largely been applied in bulk to many cell types at once—masking critical differences between cells—and in isolation from other valuable sources of data. Recent advances in single-cell genomic analysis of cells and tissues have put systematic, high-resolution and comprehensive reference maps of all human cells within reach. In other words, we can now realistically envision a human cell atlas to serve as a basis for both understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease.


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