Category Archives: Technology review

VarSeq: A bioinformatics Swiss Army knife

If you’ve seen the recent webinars given by Gabe Rudy and Bryce Christensen, you’ve no doubt been impressed by the capabilities of VarSeq when it comes to annotation and filtering. However, we sometimes forget that the power that enables all this complex analysis can also be used in more mundane tasks like VCF subsetting. And although these day-to-day tasks don’t… Read more »

Updates to ClinVar and dbSNPs: Fresh charts for Cromonaughts!

I’m sitting in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum basking in the incredible product of human innovation and the hard work of countless engineers. My volunteer tour guide started us off at the Wright brother’s fliers and made a point of saying it was only 65 years from lift off at Kitty Hawk to the landing of a man on the moon…. Read more »

RefSeq Genes: Updated to NCBI Provided Alignments and Why You Care

You probably haven’t spent much time thinking about how we represent genes in a genomic reference sequence context. And by genes, I really mean transcripts since genes are just a collection of transcripts that produce the same product. But in fact, there is more complexity here than you ever really wanted to know about. Andrew Jesaitis covered some of this… Read more »

The State of Variant Annotation: A Comparison of AnnoVar, snpEff and VEP

Up until a few weeks ago, I thought variant classification was basically a solved problem. I mean, how hard can it be? We look at variants all the time and say things like, “Well that one is probably not too detrimental since it’s a 3 base insertion, but this frameshift is worth looking into.” What we fail to recognize is… Read more »

All I Want for Christmas Is a New File Format for Genomics

Tis the season of quiet, productive hours. I’ve been spending a lot of mine thinking about file formats. Actually I’ve been spending mine implementing a new one, but more on that later. File formats are amazingly important in big data science. In genomics, it is hard not to be awed by how successful the BAM file format is. I thought… Read more »