There are billions of humans on this earth, and each of us is made up of trillions of cells. Just like every individual is unique, even genetically identical twins, scientists observe differences between the genetically identical cells in our bodies.
Differences in the location of proteins can give rise to such cellular heterogeneity. Proteins play essential roles in virtually all cellular processes. Often, many different proteins come together at a specific location to perform a task, and the exact outcome of this task depends on which proteins are present. As you can imagine, different subcellular distributions of one protein can give rise to great functional heterogeneity between cells. Finding such differences, and figuring out how and why they occur, is important for understanding how cells function, how diseases develop, and ultimately how to develop better treatments for those diseases.
The Human Protein Atlas is an initiative based in Sweden that is aimed at mapping proteins in all human cells, tissues, and organs. The data in the Human Protein Atlas database is freely accessible to scientists all around the world that allows them to explore the cellular makeup of the human body. Solving the single-cell image classification challenge will help us characterize single-cell heterogeneity in our large collection of images by generating more accurate annotations of the subcellular localizations for thousands of human proteins in individual cells.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM UTC, April 27, 2021.