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Nature Biotechnology publishes ATDBio & University of Oxford single-cell sequencing research

Nature Biotechnology publishes ATDBio & University of Oxford single-cell sequencing research

Better understanding of disease possible with accurate full length identification of all messenger RNA in a cell

Oxford, UK, July 1 2021 – Research on improved techniques for single-cell RNA sequencing by ATDBio, a leader in complex oligonucleotide synthesis, and a research team at the Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, has been published1 in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology. The work demonstrates the ability to determine full-length transcriptomes (all the messenger RNA in a cell) via nanopore sequencing at the single cell level. Bringing better understanding of gene expression in normal and diseased tissue, the new approach has significant potential in diagnostics and the understanding of human disease.

Nanopore sequencing of long nucleic acid sequences, while bringing advantages associated with throughput and economy, has a higher error rate than some other methods. The new approach, termed scCOLOR-seq, allows error detection and correction – an absolute requirement for long read sequencing in single cell applications.

ATDBio brought its knowledge of nucleic acid chemistry and expertise in synthesis of complex oligonucleotide beads to the collaboration, working with Dr Adam Cribbs, Dr Martin Philpott and Professor Udo Oppermann at the Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford. The teams are also working together on related single-cell sequencing research funded by Innovate UK2, the UK’s Innovation Agency.

Dr Tom Brown Jnr, Chief Scientific Officer of ATDBio, said, ‘The new scCOLOR-seq method is the first of many innovations resulting from our collaboration with the Botnar Research Centre team, world leaders in single-cell epigenomics. The collaboration has been one of our most interesting and successful, and we are pleased to see our work recognised in Nature Biotechnology. It’s a great example of how ATDBio can apply its expert knowledge of nucleic acid chemistry and complex oligonucleotide synthesis to difficult problems in biology and beyond, together with our corporate and academic partners.’


1 You can read the paper ‘Nanopore sequencing of single-cell transcriptomes with scCOLOR-seq’ here


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Notes for Editors

About ATDBio

ATDBio is a leader in complex oligonucleotide synthesis. Its attention to detail combined with years of experience and a knowledge of the latest developments in nucleic acids chemistry enables it to provide an unrivalled service. ATDBio works with both small academic groups and large pharma and biotech companies worldwide – organisations with unique requirements for complex oligonucleotides. Early-stage partnerships with ATDBio have been critical in the growth of several such companies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic ATDBio has been making nucleic acid primers and probes, working with customers to help them develop simpler, faster and more accurate diagnostic methods. Using its specialist nucleic acid expertise, it has made oligonucleotides for tens of millions of tests.

The company was founded in 2005 by Professor Tom Brown, one of the world’s leading nucleic acids chemists, Dr Dorcas Brown, an expert in oligonucleotide synthesis, Dr Tom Brown (Jnr) and Dr Asha Brown. It has laboratories in Southampton and Oxford, UK. For more information please go to or follow on Twitter @ATDBio

About the Botnar Research Centre

The Botnar Research Centre, together with the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology forms part of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) at the University of Oxford. The Botnar Centre provides state of the art laboratory facilities for scientists in the field of musculoskeletal research, consisting of multidisciplinary teams and encompassing experimental and clinical scientists in the fields of bone oncology as well as inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases.

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