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Old 08-16-2016, 10:56 AM   #1
Junior Member
Location: United Kingdom

Join Date: Mar 2011
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Unhappy Help interpreting this fold change plot

I came across this FC plot showing "agreement" between the Nanostring nCounter Single Cell Gene Expression method and the normal (multicell) one.

"These data show a 1:1 correlation of fold changes between assays, demonstrating the simultaneous, unbiased amplification of hundreds of target transcripts and preservation of fold change information provided by nCounter Single Cell Gene Expression protocol."

I have a few issues with this conclusion and I'm wondering if you agree with them or am I missing something:
1) The axes have 0, which means it's probably logFC as opposed to the labels?
2) The upper left section has genes with opposite fold changes in the two techniques. This is about 1/3 of the total!
3) Even if we have a cutoff and consider only fold changes above |2| (log or otherwise), then still the two techniques do not agree on the majority of the genes. (see 0 -- -2 (or -1) band for single cell, and 0 -- 2 band for GX assay)
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #2
Devon Ryan
Location: Freiburg, Germany

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1) Yup, they must mean logFC.
2) Yeah, but this is due to an apparent constant offset, so if real it's at least easy to correct for.
3) Take the offset into account and they're in nice agreement.

What they need to answer is why their single-cell data seems biased by a log2 of +1.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Thanks. So either the single-cell protocol failed to properly amplify the brain reference (denominator) and/or overamplified the human ref (nominator) compared to the original protocol.
Alternatively, the original protocol had these problems. And that's my problem with the correction, you can't tell which should be corrected.

And even so, we are still left with huge variation.

I think they should simply correlate the count numbers (and show on two plots).

Last edited by granger; 08-22-2016 at 12:41 PM.
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nanostring, ncounter, single cell

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