A case study on the detailed reproducibility of a human cell atlas project

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kui Hua, Xuegong Zhang


Reproducibility is a defining feature of a scientific discovery. Reproducibility can be at different levels for different types of study. The purpose of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) project is to build maps of molecular signatures of all human cell types and states to serve as references for future discoveries. Constructing such a complex reference atlas must involve the assembly and aggregation of data from multiple labs, probably generated with different technologies. It has much higher requirements on reproducibility than individual research projects. To add another layer of complexity, the bioinformatics procedures involved for single-cell data have high flexibility and diversity. There are many factors in the processing and analysis of single-cell RNA-seq data that can shape the final results in different ways. To study what levels of reproducibility can be reached in current practices, we conducted a detailed reproduction study for a well-documented recent publication on the atlas of human blood dendritic cells as an example to break down the bioinformatics steps and factors that are crucial for the reproducibility at different levels. We found that the major scientific discovery can be well reproduced after some efforts, b...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cervical Atlas
Case-Control Studies
Dendritic Cells
Human Cell Line
Research Project
Molecular Assembly/Self Assembly

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