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The secrets of the cell

Kubista, M., Dreyer-Lamm, J., Stahlberg, A. The secrets of the cell. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 59: 1-4, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2017.08.004. ISSN: 0098-2997.


2017 marks the 40 year's anniversary of the development of nucleic acid sequencing independently by Fred Sanger and Walter Gilbert (Sanger et al., 1977, Maxam and Gilbert, 1977), who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980. It is also 34 years since Kary Mullis conceived the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993. PCR was then put into practice in 1985 by a team of Cetus scientists (Saiki et al., 1985). Just three years later came the first publication demonstrating the sensitivity of PCR by analyzing DNA from a single somatic and a single sperm cell (Li et al., 1988). Using classical PCR analyzing DNA, no cell to cell variability was detected. This had to await the development of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) by Russ Higuchi in 1993 (Higuchi et al., 1993). Several single-cell gene expression studies appeared in the late 90-ies (Freeman et al., 1999) and in 2005 came the first comprehensive single-cell reverse transcription (RT) qPCR profiling study (Bengtsson et al., 2005) ...