Author Archives: Nathan Fortier

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About Nathan Fortier

Nathan Fortier, Ph.D, Director of Research for Golden Helix, joined the development team in June of 2014. Nathan obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Montana Tech University in May 2011, received a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Montana State University in May 2014, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Montana State University in May 2015. Nathan works on data curation, script development, and product code. When not working, Nathan enjoys hiking and playing music.

Exporting Genes as Exon Regions in VS-CNV

         June 16, 2020
CNV Het Deletion

We have had many customers come to us over the years with a simple problem: they have BAM files for whole exome or gene panel data and would like to call CNVs using VarSeq’s powerful CNV calling capabilities, but they don’t have a bed file defining the target regions for their samples. To address this problem, we have developed a… Read more »

Recent Webcast: Evaluating Oncogenicity in VSClinical

         June 11, 2020

Abstract Before assessing the clinical significance of a somatic mutation, one must determine if the mutation is likely to be a driver mutation (i.e. a mutation that provides a selective growth advantage, thereby promoting cancer development). To aid clinicians in this process, VSClinical provides an oncogenicity scoring system, which uses a variety of metrics to classify a given somatic mutation… Read more »

Detecting de Novo Copy Number Inheritance and Family Segregations

         April 23, 2020

In trio workflows, one of the most important factors in scoring a variant is understanding how that variant is inherited from the parents. Likewise, when looking at extended families, the segregation, or presence of the variant among the affected versus unaffected individuals provides evidence for its pathogenicity for a given phenotype or disease. Given the nature of Copy Number Variants… Read more »

Introducing Drugs & Trials for Cancer Diagnostics

         January 23, 2020

When interpreting a variant using the AMP/ASCO guidelines for somatic variant interpretation, clinicians must determine whether the variant can be considered a biomarker that affects clinical care by predicting sensitivity, resistance, or toxicity to a specific therapy. Such a determination requires the investigation of multiple evidence sources, including clinical trials, FDA approved therapies and peer-reviewed studies. Unfortunately, strong evidence linking… Read more »

Oncogenicity Scoring in VSClinical

         October 1, 2019
Oncogenicity Scoring in VSClinical

Before examining the clinical evidence associated with a specific mutation, a clinician must establish that the variant is likely to be a driver mutation which generates functional changes that enhance tumor cell proliferation. Our recent blog series “Following the AMP Guidelines with VSClinical” briefly mentioned how the oncogenicity scoring system in VSClinical could be used to automate and assist the… Read more »

Considerations When Calling CNVs on Shallow Whole Genomes

         December 20, 2018
CNV Annotations

We are happy to announce that our latest version of SVS includes the ability to call CNVs on low read depth Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) data. Designed for calling large cytogenetic events, this algorithm can detect chromosomal aneuploidy events and other large events spanning one or more bands of a chromosome from genomes with average coverage as low as 0.05x…. Read more »

Annotating and Cataloging CNVs in Varseq – Webcast Q&A

         October 25, 2018

We love when our viewers send questions in during the webcast but unfortunately we can’t answer all of them during the time allotted!  If you asked a question see below for answers, or if after viewing, you have any questions that weren’t asked, please feel free to send those over to support@goldenhelix.com. Does this work for FFPE derived DNA or ctDNA?… Read more »

Functional Predictions & Conservation Scores in VSClinical

         May 17, 2018

In our previous webcast, we discussed the splice site algorithms for clinical genomics within VSClinical. We took it a step further in yesterday’s webcast and looked at the functional predictions and conservation scores. We had a great turnout for this event with lots of great questions from the attendees. I’d like to recap our Q&A for anyone else who might… Read more »

Clinical Variant Interpretation: Part VI

         May 1, 2018
VSClinical algorithm

Functional Predictions and Conservation Scores in VSClinical Several algorithms have been developed to predict the impact of amino acid substitutions on protein function and quantify conservation of nucleotide positions. These methods provide vital supporting evidence to clinicians when interpreting variants in accordance with the ACMG guidelines. The two most popular functional prediction algorithms are SIFT and PolyPhen2, while the most… Read more »

Clinical Variant Interpretation: Part V

         April 26, 2018
VSClinical algorithm

Revisiting the Five Splice Site Algorithms used in Clinical Genetics Interpretation of variants in accordance with the ACMG guidelines requires that variants near canonical splice boundaries be evaluated for their potential to disrupt gene splicing [1]. The five most common tools for splice site detection are NNSplice, MaxEntScan, GeneSplicer, HumanSplicingFinder, and SpliceSiteFinder-like. Because these algorithms have been made easily accessible… Read more »

Revisiting the Five Splice Site Algorithms used in Clinical Genetics

         January 16, 2018

Interpretation of variants in accordance with the ACMG guidelines requires that variants near canonical splice boundaries be evaluated for their potential to disrupt gene splicing [1]. The five most common tools for splice site detection are NNSplice, MaxEntScan, GeneSplicer, HumanSplicingFinder, and SpliceSiteFinder-like. Because these algorithms have been made easily accessible in the bioinformatics tool Alamut, they have been canonized for… Read more »

Calling Cytogenetic CNVs from Shallow Whole Genomes

         June 21, 2017
low read depth

Low read depth? Great! We are excited to introduce our new CNV calling algorithm for low and ultra-low read depth Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) data. This algorithm is designed to call large cytogenetic events with high confidence from low read depth whole genome data, with as few as one million aligned reads or 0.02x coverage. The low sequencing cost of… Read more »

Bridging Two Worlds: Lifting Over Your Variants to GRCh38

         June 7, 2016
GRCh38

When the new human reference genome was released over two years ago, it was hailed as a significant step forward for next generation sequencing. Compared to GRCh37, the new GRCH38 reference assembly fixed gaps, repaired incorrect sequences and offered access to sections of the genome that had been previously unaccounted for. Despite these improvements, adoption of the new assembly has… Read more »

New Plugin for Ion Torrent Server

         October 21, 2014

Golden Helix is proud to announce the release of the Golden Helix GenomeBrowse Plugin for Ion Torrent server. The new plug-in enables adding selected BAM files from Torrent Server reports directly into GenomeBrowse. The BAM files remain on the torrent server and are streamed from the server on demand using your credentials. This feature allows GenomeBrowse users to visualize genomic… Read more »