Single-cell analysis on the biological clock using microfluidic droplets
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Single-cell analysis has become crucial for uncovering the underlying mechanism for cell heterogeneity. Different biological questions pose different challenges for single-cell analysis. In order to answer questions like, whether a single-cell has a biological clock and how the clocks synchronize among cells to overcome the heterogeneity, continuous long-term measurement on large numbers of single-cells is required. However traditional measurement techniques usually involve measurement on millions of cells. My dissertation addresses these challenges by developing a microfluidic droplet platform capable of measuring the biological clock on >1000 Neurospora crassa single-cells for up to 10 days. The results show that in Neurospora crassa a single cell has the three major properties of a biological clock: a circadian oscillator, light entertainment, and temperature compensation and that single-cells synchronize their biological clock with each other possibly through quorum sensing.