The building blocks of complex biological systems are single cells. Fundamental insights gained from single-cell analysis promise to provide the framework for understanding normal biological systems development as well as the limits on systems/cellular ability to respond to disease. The interplay of cells to create functional systems is not well understood. Until recently, the study of single cells has concentrated primarily on morphological and physiological characterization. With the application of new highly sensitive molecular and genomic technologies, the quantitative biochemistry of single cells is now accessible.