The Human Cell Atlas Project brings together an international community of biologists, clinicians, technologists, physicists, computational scientists, software engineers, and mathematicians. This community of scientists with diverse expertise share the common goal of creating a comprehensive reference map of all human cells as a basis for understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease. Without maps of different cell types, where they are located in the body, and the genes they express, we cannot describe all cellular activities and understand the biological networks that direct them. Very recently, new tools, such as single-cell genomics, have for the first time put this goal within reach.
According to the Human Cell Atlas, there are roughly 37 trillion cells in the human body, but we don't yet know how many cell types. Once we do, we’ll have a foundation for studying every human disease.