In Shapiro et al., when discussing about loss of molecules as source of error in single-cell sequencing, it is written that:
Another source of error is losses, which can be severe. The detection limit of published protocols is $5$–$10$ molecules of mRNA.
I used to think that the detection limit of a protocol was the average maximum number of molecules detected across cells in a scRNA-seq experiment. However, by working on the dataset provided by The Tabula Muris Consortium et al. (pp) I noticed that RNA raw counts often spikes to more than 10 molecules.
What is the actual meaning of detection limit of a protocol in scRNA-seq?