Immune cell map arms researchers with new tool to fight deadly diseases

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The article "A genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of protein-coding genes in human blood cells" is published in the journal Science on December 19.

A first-ever map of the human body's immune cells has been created by scientists in Sweden, providing medical research with a detailed description of the proteins in human blood. The open-access database offers medical researchers an unprecedented resource in the search for treatments for diseases.

The Blood Atlas resource provides a detailed view of the proteins in individual blood cells in relationship to the presence of these proteins in other parts of the body, determining which proteins are unique to different types of blood cells. A thorough analysis of blood cell RNA expression profiles has enabled the identification of approximately 1,500 genes with elevated expression in various immune cells, confirming well-known immune proteins, but also identifying new targets for in-depth analysis. To illustrate the usefulness of this resource in understanding the function of specific genes across cells and tissues, the paper describes the cellular distribution of genes known to cause primary immunodeficiencies.

Link to the article

Press release