Author Archives: Eli Sward

About Eli Sward

Eli Sward, Ph.D is a Field Application Scientist Manager at Golden Helix, joining the team in May of 2018. Eli graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, and a doctorate’s in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Beyond providing customer support and training at Golden Helix, Eli enjoys many outdoor activities and spending quality time with family and friends.

Importing CNVs using VSPipeline

         June 2, 2021

VSPipeline is a command-line interface that will provide high throughput environments the ability to tap the full power of VarSeq’s algorithms and flexible project template system from any command-line context, including the existing bioinformatics pipeline. This feature is a great resource for analyzing large sample volumes as it automates importing and annotating your data, which can help streamline your analysis… Read more »

VS-CNV Updates in VarSeq v2.2.3

         May 18, 2021

Golden Helix has just released VarSeq v2.2.3. In this update, there are notable changes that can improve CNV calling capabilities covered in this webcast. The topics discussed included: Accounting for GC content Improvements to CNV quality flags Using target filtering Updates to the CNV sensitivity and precision settings This blog post will elaborate on these capabilities and demonstrate how they… Read more »

GenomeAsia 100K Variant Frequency Annotation

         March 30, 2021

The GenomeAsia 100K Variant Frequency database is a pilot annotation source now available to our users. This valuable database offers a deep characterization of specific populations in Asia that can be used to drive genetic studies. GenomeAsia is comprised of whole-genome sequencing data of over 1,000 individuals from 219 populations across Asia. Using this as an annotation, users can analyze… Read more »

Orphanet Annotations in VarSeq

         March 18, 2021

Orphanet is a public database available in VarSeq that aims to improve the current understanding and treatment options for patients affected by rare diseases. This resource was established in France in 1997 and has gradually grown to cover a consortium of over 40 countries in Europe. The primary goal of this database is to provide a universal nomenclature to classify… Read more »

Implementation of ClinGen Dosage Sensitivity in VSClinical

         March 4, 2021
Clin Gen CNV

The collaboration between the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) consortium and the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) recently developed published guidelines for the interpretation of CNVs called on next-generation sequencing data. These new guidelines are the first to provide a robust set of rules for the interpretation of small intragenic deletions and duplications and are now automated in VSClinical.  … Read more »

Webcast Recap: Family-Based Workflows in VarSeq and VSClinical

         February 13, 2021
screen shot from webcast

Thank you for attending the webinar focused on implementing VarSeq and VSClinical for family-based workflows. If you would like to use the webinar as a reference or were not able to attend, you can access it using the following link to view ‘Family-Based Workflows in VarSeq and VSClinical. Here is a brief recap of what we discussed: This webinar demonstrated… Read more »

New Feature in VarSeq: Latest Sample Assessment Algorithm

         January 26, 2021

In continuation of our blog posts focusing on new features of VarSeq v2.2.2, here we will discuss the Latest Sample Assessment algorithm for both single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number variants (CNVS). This algorithm annotates the variants of the project with the latest assessment from your variant catalog, which will show the history of interpretations made for the variants… Read more »

Webcast Recap: VSClinical: A Complete Clinical Workflow Solution

         January 15, 2021

Didn’t catch the webcast live? No worries! We cover ‘VSClinical: A Complete Clinical Workflow Solution’ Q&A’s in this blog post. The webcast, ‘VSClinical: A Complete Clinical Workflow Solution’ demonstrated how solutions provided by Golden Helix can be implemented to cover all requirements of a clinical workspace. Specifically, this webcast focused on a detailed workflow from a bioinformatician, geneticist, and lab… Read more »

ACGS Guidelines Now Available in VSClinical

         January 7, 2021
ACGS Guidelines Screen Shot

Golden Helix offers a market-leading bioinformatics solution that allows users to evaluate next-generation sequencing variants according to the ACMG and now ACGS guidelines. The ACMG guidelines were created in 2015 and are widely accepted as best practice for the interpretation of sequencing variants throughout the United States (Richard et al 2015).  Very similar are the ACGS guidelines that were developed… Read more »

Adding Population Catalogs to VSClinical

         December 10, 2020
example population view

Our previous webcast demonstrated some of the new functionalities of VSClinical, including the ability to add ACMG frequency sources for the ACMG BA1, BS1, and PM2 criteria. This new feature was spurred by the feedback from our users, which requested supporting frequency tracks other than gnomAD Exomes and 1kG Phase3. Now, users can implement population catalogs to VSClinical such as… Read more »

Webcast Follow-up: Evaluating CNVs with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guidelines

         November 19, 2020

In our previous webcast, Evaluating CNVs with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guidelines, we focused on a CNV deletion (12:27715515-29628122×1) in which the patient had a known disorder called Brachydactyly type E. The CNV was isolated using our VS-CNV caller and applied to the ACMG CNV guidelines using the intuitive steps of VSClinical. If you missed the webcast, you can watch the… Read more »

Webcast Recap: Evaluation of CNVs with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guideline Workflow

         November 10, 2020

In the webcast, Evaluation of Copy Number Variants with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guideline Workflow, we discussed how VSClinical implements Section 4 of the ACMG guidelines. Specifically, we focused on integrating literature and publications to assess the pathogenicity of a CNV event when there was a lack of dosage sensitivity information. One of the primary pieces of evidence for evaluating genes… Read more »

Updated Annotation: BRCA Exchange

         October 30, 2020

Our team is regularly updating and curating annotations, most recently the BRCA Exchange. Breast cancer is known to occur in approximately 10% of the female population and if there is a damaging mutation in the breast cancer gene (BRCA), that rate increases to 65%. Although genetic testing can identify mutations in BRCA, a tumor suppressor gene, it has been difficult… Read more »

Upcoming VS-CNV Update: CNV Event Reporting with ACMG Guidelines

         October 22, 2020

Golden Helix is excited to release an upcoming VSClinical feature that allows users to analyze next-generation sequencing (NGS) CNV event reporting with ACMG guidelines. This feature will be the first in the NGS workspace to allow this capability and if you are curious about the functionalities you can get a sneak peek by looking at some of our most recent… Read more »

Variant Analysis of Bechet Disease Using VSClinical

         September 15, 2020

VSClinical is a feature to evaluate clinically relevant variants according to the ACMG or AMP guidelines. This feature can also be used to identify if a variant has been observed previously or evaluate a manually inserted variant. Take, for example, the scenario where a colleague is interested to see if you have seen any variants associated with Bechet syndrome, which… Read more »

Updates to dbSNP 154 v2

         September 3, 2020

In the 1990s the genetic industry voiced a request for a variant catalog that incorporates associated variant information such as phenotypic and metabolic pathways. The call was answered by NCBI, which created dbSNP; dbSNP became publicly available in 1998 and around 1.5 million variants. Fast forward to the present and dbSNP now contains over 2 billion SNPs spanning human, rat,… Read more »

Kaviar and Allele Frequency Aggregator (ALFA): the databases you didn’t know existed in VarSeq.

         August 4, 2020

In the search for disease causing mutations it is important to determine if the variant has been previously observed in humans and at what frequency. With the advent of increasing genomic information, there is now a variety of different databases and annotation sources that can be utilized. For some, this could be a tedious task that leads only to implementing… Read more »

Coming to SVS: LiftOver Capability

         July 23, 2020

The world has been making a shift to use GRCh38 human genome reference coordinates, but the transition has not been fast. Many of the mainstay human catalog projects are changing to use native GRCh38 catalogs, or are remapping their current data to GRCh38 coordinates. While this seems to be the advancing goal, it is leaving researchers and analysts with the… Read more »

Using the AMP Guidelines for Rhabdoid Tumor Analysis in VSClinical

         July 15, 2020

Introduction: Malignant Rhabdoid tumors (MRT) are among the most aggressive and lethal forms of infant and child cancer (1). These tumors are characterized by an unusual combination of mixed cellular elements similar to but not typical of teratomas and can originate at any anatomic location. When MRTs are present in the brain, they are called atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), which… Read more »

The New ACMG-Based Trio Tutorial

         April 3, 2020

Our Support Team curates a variety of tutorials to help orient new users to the capabilities of VarSeq. We are happy to announce the team’s new release of the trio tutorial that places emphasis on using the ACMG guidelines. This tutorial gives insight into the proper setup of pedigree structure as well as detailed descriptions of the filter containers and… Read more »