Talk / Overview
Droplet-based single-cell omics, including single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq), single cell CRISPR perturbations (e.g., CROP-seq) and single-cell protein and transcriptomic profiling (CITE-seq) hold great promise for comprehensive cell profiling and genetic screening at the single cell resolution, yet these technologies suffer from substantial noise, among which ambient signals present in the cell suspension may be the predominant source. Current efforts to address this issue are highly specific to a certain technology, while a universal model to describe the noise across these technologies may reveal this common source thereby improving the denoising accuracy. To this end, we explicitly examined these unexpected signals and observed a predictable pattern in multiple datasets across different technologies. Based on the finding, we developed single cell Ambient Remover (scAR) which uses probabilistic deep learning to deconvolute the observed signals into native and ambient composition. scAR provides an efficient and universal solution to count denoising for multiple types of single-cell omics data, including single cell CRISPR screens, CITE-seq and scRNAseq. It will facilitate the application of single-cell omics technologies.