Spitzer and Gherardini et al., from the Nolan Lab at Stanford University, report a novel bioinformatics approach to mapping the immune system called Scaffold (Single-Cell Analysis by Fixed Force- and Landmark-Directed).
Scaffold allows clustering of samples independently, thus allowing addition of new sample data over time. This approach requires users to develop or use a pre-defined reference map.
In their recent publication in Science, the authors reveal maps comparing immune organization among several tissue compartments, among mouse strains, between circadian states, and between species (mouse and human).
While the authors present findings focused on cytometry samples, Scaffold establishes a framework that can be extended to allow co-mapping of a variety of data types, including single-cell RNA sequencing and an array of metadata (clinical phenotypes, publication records, patient demographics, and more).
The authors have made their raw publication data, a map viewer, and reference maps publicly available on Cytobank.