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Profiling the transcriptomes of individual cells via single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) allows the functional role of heterogeneity in gene expression levels between cells to be investigated in early development, in cancer and during tissue differentiation. Current scRNA-seq protocols require amplification of the minute amount of mRNA present in an individual cell. PCR or in vitro transcription is used to amplify cDNA molecules. In combination, these steps contribute to substantial increases in the level of technical noise relative to bulk-level RNA-seq. Several strategies have been proposed to reduce or eliminate technical noise in scRNA-seq protocols.
(Kim et al., 2015) Characterizing noise structure in single-cell RNA-seq distinguishes genuine from technical stochastic allelic expression. Nat Commun.