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Oxford Team Reports Single-Cell Alternative Splicing Analysis Tool

An integrated alternative splicing analysis platform geared for single-cell RNA sequencing data generated from the plate- and droplet-based methods is presented in Nucleic Acids Research. While alternative splicing represents an important layer of transcriptional complexity underlying gene expression, the ability to study it at the single-cell level is hampered by a lack of computational tools. To help fill in this gap, University of Oxford scientists developed MARVEL, an R package for integrative single-cell alternative splicing and gene expression analysis. They benchmark MARVEL against existing tools and show its utility by analyzing publicly available datasets generated from the plate- and droplet-based library preparation methods derived from induced pluripotent stem cells differentiated into endoderm and cardiomyocytes, respectively. "We anticipate MARVEL to be prospectively applied to single-cell datasets generated from various settings … to reveal novel biological insights," the developers write.