The last several years have seen rapid development of technologies and methods that permit a detailed analysis of the genome and transcriptome of a single cell. Recent evidence from studies of single cells reveals that each cell type has a distinct lineage and function. The lineage and stage of development of each cell determine how they respond to each other and the environment. Experimental approaches that utilize single-cell analysis are effective means to understand how cell networks work in concert to coordinate a response at the population level; recent progress in single-cell analysis is offering a glimpse at the future.
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