Experimental biology has been limited by the need for destructive sampling or direct observation of cells to quantify transcriptional state. These requirements inherently restrict our knowledge of the natural world, because they eliminate the possibility of determining order of transcriptional events that occur in individual cells in natural environments. We are engineering molecular biotechnology that enables reconstruction of the order of past gene activation events in individual cells, without observation or destruction during the event of interest. We do this by generating a physical DNA record of transcriptional events inside cells, which are permanently written into a genomic ledger in the order that they occur.
Shipman et al., Science (2016); Shipman et al., Nature (2017); Bhattarai-Kline et al., Nature Chemical Biology (2021); Bhattarai-Kline et al. bioRxiv (2021)