Optics-free spatio-genetic imaging with DNA microscopy

Seminar | January 24 | 10-11 a.m. | 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Joshua Weinstein, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

 Bioengineering (BioE)

Complex cell populations, from the brain to the
adaptive immune system, rely on diverse gene variants, somatic
mutations, and expression patterns for some of their most essential
functions. This genetic heterogeneity not only endows intrinsic
properties to individual cells, but it also often operates at the
level of inter-cellular interactions. Technologies that jointly
resolve both gene sequences and the spatial relationships of the cells
that express them therefore have a key role to play in deepening our
understanding of tissue biology. In this talk, I will introduce DNA
microscopy, a new imaging modality that operates by encoding pairwise
distances between biomolecules in a sample directly into a DNA
sequence library using a stand-alone chemical reaction. We have
demonstrated that with these pairwise distances encoded, the relative
positions of biomolecules and cells can be computationally inferred by
DNA sequence analysis. DNA microscopy requires neither
micromanipulation nor specialized imaging equipment and leverages the
power of commercial sequencers. Because its imaging power derives
entirely from diffusive molecular dynamics, DNA microscopy constitutes
a chemically encoded microscopy system. I will end by discussing my
plans to apply DNA microscopy to adaptive immunity and
neurodevelopment, and to facilitate its deployment to the broader
biomedical community.

 CA, monamw@berkeley.edu, 5106663362