To understand biology and differences among various tissues or cell types, one typically searches for molecular features that display characteristic abundance patterns. Several specificity metrics have been introduced to identify tissue-specific molecular features, but these either require an equal number of replicates per tissue or they can’t handle replicates at all. We describe a non-parametric specificity score that is compatible with unequal sample group sizes. To demonstrate its usefulness, the specificity score was calculated on all GTEx samples, detecting known and novel tissue-specific genes. A webtool was developed to browse these results for genes or tissues of interest. An example python implementation of SPECS is available at https://github.ugent.be/ceeverae/SPECs.
preprint available at BioRxiv
Made with the support of: