Quantifying the effect of experimental perturbations at single-cell resolution

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Quick Start


MELD is a Python package for quantifying the effects of experimental perturbations. For an in depth explanation of the algorithm, read our manuscript on BioRxiv.

Quantifying the effect of experimental perturbations at single-cell resolution. Daniel B Burkhardt*, Jay S Stanley*, Alexander Tong, Ana Luisa Perdigoto, Scott A Gigante, Kevan C Herold, Guy Wolf, Antonio J Giraldez, David van Dijk, Smita Krishnaswamy. BioRxiv. doi:10.1101/532846.

The goal of MELD is to identify populations of cells that are most affected by an experimental perturbation. Rather than clustering the data first and calculating differential abundance of samples within clusters, MELD provides a density estimate for each scRNA-seq sample for every cell in each dataset. Comparing the ratio between the density of each sample provides a quantitative estimate the effect of a perturbation at the single-cell level. We can then identify the cells most or least affected by the perturbation.


pip install --user meld


MELD requires Python >= 3.6. All other requirements are installed automatically by pip.

Usage example

   import numpy as np
   import meld

   # Create toy data
   n_samples = 500
   n_dimensions = 100
   data = np.random.normal(size=(n_samples, n_dimensions))
   sample_labels = np.random.choice(['treatment', 'control'], size=n_samples)

   # Estimate density of each sample over the graph
   sample_densities = meld.MELD().fit_transform(data, sample_labels)

   # Normalize densities to calculate sample likelihoods
   sample_likelihoods = meld.utils.normalize_densities(sample_densities)