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  1. Multi-modal single cell RNA assays capture RNA content as well as other data modalities, such as spatial cell position or the electrophysiological properties of cells. Compared to dedicated scRNA-seq assays however, they may unintentionally capture RNA from multiple adjacent cells, exhibit lower RNA sequencing depth compared to scRNA-seq, or lack genome-wide RNA measurements. We present scProjection, a method for mapping individual multi-modal RNA measurements to deeply sequenced scRNA-seq atlases to extract cell type-specific, single cell gene expression profiles. We demonstrate several use cases of scProjection, including the identification of spatial motifs from spatial transcriptome assays, distinguishing RNA contributions from neighboringmore »cells in both spatial and multi-modal single cell assays, and imputing expression measurements of un-measured genes from gene markers. scProjection therefore combines the advantages of both multi-modal and scRNA-seq assays to yield precise multi-modal measurements of single cells.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Deep neural networks implementing generative models for dimensionality reduction have been extensively used for the visualization and analysis of genomic data. One of their key limitations is lack of interpretability: it is challenging to quantitatively identify which input features are used to construct the embedding dimensions, thus preventing insight into why cells are organized in a particular data visualization, for example. Here we present a scalable, interpretable variational autoencoder (siVAE) that is interpretable by design: it learns feature embeddings that guide the interpretation of the cell embeddings in a manner analogous to factor loadings of factor analysis. siVAE is asmore »powerful and nearly as fast to train as the standard VAE but achieves full interpretability of the embedding dimensions. Using siVAE, we exploit a number of connections between dimensionality reduction and gene network inference to identify gene neighborhoods and gene hubs, without the explicit need for gene network inference. We observe a systematic difference in the gene neighborhoods identified by dimensionality reduction methods and gene network inference algorithms in general, suggesting they provide complementary information about the underlying structure of the gene co-expression network. Finally, we apply siVAE to implicitly learn gene networks for individual iPSC lines and uncover a correlation between neuronal differentiation efficiency and loss of co-expression of several mitochondrial complexes, including NADH dehydrogenase, cytochrome C oxidase, and cytochrome b.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023