We are all unique
As we all know, every person is different. This uniqueness is currently being explored thanks to the boom in sequencing that lead to multiple businesses sprouting around the field of personalised genetics.
However, it might surprise more than one to hear that most of research into human biology and disease is stuck in the past, relying on immortalized cell lines or animal models; both containing very little genetic diversity. This is due to the fact that the gold standard of research, human primary cell lines (ie: unadulterated cells from actual patients or healthy people), are rare and expensive; as they are sourced through invasive and opportunistic surgical procedures.
This bottleneck of material particularly affects research into rare diseases and paediatric diseases. Most importantly, this bottleneck is limiting our access to the long awaited advent of personalized medicine.
We are all cells
Access to individuals’ genetic material is greatly helping understand variation in human genetics. Yet, DNA on its own will not reveal all the necessary information. A human body is composed of trillions of cells, each with a specific role. The differences between your skin cells and cardiac cells are obvious both visually and in behaviour. This is due to differences in the expression of the DNA. Expression levels change in response to external stimuli. Cells react. Cells change. Cells are alive.
This is why research needs cells to study biology. We need to understand the relationship between cells and the outside world, as well as the relationship between cellular response and the DNA it holds inside. For this, we need more human primary cells.
Bridging the gap
We have identified a novel method of sourcing human cells, that will allow for unlimited and unprecendented access to stem cell-like cells. Once we develop the necessary tools for this collection, we can source cells from anyone. This will allow for unrestricted access to rare disease patients, children and other patients. This will allow for an abundance of precious material, that will accelerate research into our own biology. And finally, it will allow for personalised medicine to finally be within reach.