Author Archives: Gabe Rudy

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About Gabe Rudy

Meet Gabe Rudy, GHI’s Vice President of Product and Engineering and team member since 2002. Gabe thrives in the dynamic and fast-changing field of bioinformatics and genetic analysis. Leading a killer team of Computer Scientists and Statisticians in building powerful products and providing world-class support, Gabe puts his passion into enabling Golden Helix’s customers to accelerate their research. When not reading or blogging, Gabe enjoys the outdoor Montana lifestyle. But most importantly, Gabe truly loves spending time with his sons, daughter, and wife. Follow Gabe on Twitter @gabeinformatics.

  

Q&A from the VSWarehouse Launch Webcast

VSWarehouse Updates

Yesterday, it was my pleasure to share in a live webcast our integrated solution for genetic data warehousing, VSWarehouse. If you missed the webcast live, feel free to check out the recording. Although we had a great set of questions at the end of our presentation, we didn’t have time to answer all of them, so here is a selection of… Read more »

Genomic Data is Big Data, But That is not the Hard Part

Big Data

There is no doubt that we have big data in the field of genomics in general and Next Generation Sequencing specifically. Illumina’s latest HiSeq X can produce 16 genomes per run, resulting in terabytes of raw data to crunch through. Yet all that crunching is not the hard part. So, what is the main obstacle to scientists being able to… Read more »

Updates to dbNSFP – The Universal Remote of Annotation Sources

Probably one our most popular public annotation sources we curate and update is the database of Non-Synonymous Functional Predictions (dbNSFP). In it’s recent update, it has expanded the predictions to include FATHMM-MKL and VarSeq now incorporates this new prediction into its voting algorithm of now 6 different discrete predictions per variant. You can update to dbNSFP 3.0 using the built-in… Read more »

Handling Singletons & Complex Pedigrees with Gene Count Algorithms

As VarSeq’s adoption has grown among analysts using whole exome data to diagnose rare diseases, a couple of family designs outside of the common trio of an affected child and both parents have come up frequently. While having both parents provides the maximum power to discover de novo mutations and recessively inherited variants, it is not always possible to contact… Read more »

A New and Unexpectedly Powerful VarSeq Feature

With the release of VSReports, we added the ability to “select” rows of your filtered output (often variants, but potentially things like coverage regions or genes) with a new feature dubbed “Record Sets”, but more often described as “colored checkboxes” for your tables. Although necessary for the important task of marking primary, secondary or other sets of variants for a… Read more »

OMIM Coming to VarSeq

      Gabe Rudy    September 1, 2015    7 Comments on OMIM Coming to VarSeq

When it comes to down to it, the genomic variants we collect in a research and clinical setting are impossible to interpret without that important link of how genes are related to phenotypes. Indisputably, the Johns Hopkins project to catalog all evidence related to inheritable Mendelian diseases is our best repository of this evidence. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)… Read more »

Between Two Bases: Coordinate Representations for Describing Variants

Have you ever scratched your head when looking up a variant and it seems like the number you have for its position is one off from what it looks like in the file or database? You may be running into the dreaded world of 1-based versus 0-based coordinate representation! If it’s any consolation, I can promise that all the bioinformaticians… Read more »

Analyze Your 23andMe Genotype Files with Golden Helix

23andMe

I was definitely an early adopter when it comes to personal genomics. In a recent email to their customer base announcing their one millionth customer, they revealed that I was customer #44,299. And I have been consistently impressed with the product 23andMe provides through their web interface to make your hundreds of thousands of genotyped SNPs accessible and useful. It… Read more »

The Clinical Genome Conference 2015 Highlights

This last week I had the pleasure of attending the fourth annual Clinical Genome Conference (TCGC) in Japantown, San Francisco and kicking off the conference by teaching a short course on Personal Genomics Variant Analysis and Interpretation. Some highlights of the conference from my perspective: Talking about clinical genomics is no longer a wonder-fest of individual case studies, but a… Read more »

VarSeq is a better ANNOVAR, snpEff and VEP

Yes, I said it. “Them be fighting words” you may say. Well, it’s worth putting a stake in the ground when you have worked hard to have a claim worth staking. We have explored the landscape, surveyed the ravines and dangerous cliffs, laboriously removed the boulders and even dynamited a few tree stumps. Stake planted. Ok, so now I’m going… Read more »

Accurate Annotations: Updates to the NHLBI Exome Sequencing Project Variant Catalog

Since its early release in early 2012, the population frequencies from the GO Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) – from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have been a staple of the genomic community. With the recent release of ExAC exome variant frequencies, the ESP has been surpassed as the largest cohort of publicly available variant frequencies (by nearly… Read more »

Unique Labs, Common Tool: Making VarSeq Ready for Clinical Workflows

As VarSeq has been evaluated and chosen by more and more clinical labs, I have come to respect how unique each lab’s analytical use cases are. Different labs may specialize in cancer therapy management, specific hereditary disorders, focused gene panels or whole exomes. Some may expect to spend just minutes validating the analytics and the presence or absence of well-characterized… Read more »

Supercentenarian Variant Annotation: Complex to Primitive

In a previous blog post, I demonstrated using VarSeq to directly analyze the whole genomes of 17 supercentenarians. Since then, I have been working with the variant set from these long-lived genomes to prepare a public data track useful for annotation and filtering. Well, we just published the track last week, and I’m excited to share some of the details… Read more »

What TriCon 2015 Foreshadows for Clinical Genomics

I spent a very eventful week at the Molecular TriCon in downtown San Francisco, and have been pondering the very clear trends that emerged by attending the clinical and NGS focused talks. Cancer gene panels make sense economically and as “massively parallel” tests to inform therapy, but they are bound to get more complex. Liquid biopsies of circulating tumor DNA… Read more »

In Pursuit of Longevity: Analyzing the Supercentenarian Whole Genomes with VarSeq

If you haven’t been closely watching the twittersphere or other headline sources of the genetics community, you may have missed the recent chatter about the whole genome sequencing of 17 supercentenarians (people who live beyond 110 years). While genetics only explains 20-30% of the longevity of those with average life-spans, it turns out there is a number of good reasons… Read more »

6 Population Catalogs Compared with the ExAC 61,486 Exomes

To say the announcement of Dan MacArthur’s group’s release of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) data was highly anticipated at ASHG 2014 would be an understatement. Basically, there were two types of talks at ASHG. Those that proceeded the official ExAC release talk and referred to it, and those that followed the talk and referred to it. Why is this… Read more »

VarSeq: Making Variant Discovery and Gene Panels Easy

Last week, our CEO Andreas Scherer announced our entrance into the clinical testing market with VarSeq. This week, I will be giving a webcast on Wednesday introducing this new tool and demonstrating its capabilities. (Register for the webcast) VarSeq’s focused purpose is making NGS gene testing and variant discovery efficient, scalable and accessible to users with a broad range of backgrounds and specialties. In this blog post, we will examine the use cases that VarSeq supports in more detail,… 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 New Human Genome Reference and Clinical Grade Annotations: It’s All About the Coordinates

On my flight back from this year’s Molecular Tri-Conference in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but ruminate over the intriguing talks, engaging round table discussions, and fabulous dinners with fellow speakers. And I kept returning to the topic of how we aggregate, share, and update data in the interest of understanding our genomes. Of course, there were many examples of… Read more »