Category Archives: Best practices in genetic analysis

Case Study – Hannover Medical School

         May 11, 2021

Dr. Auber is the team leader for the molecular genetic diagnosis of hereditary diseases at the Institute for Human Genetics at Hannover Medical School (MHH). MHH is one of the largest hospitals in northern Germany, with one of the largest outpatient clinics for individuals and families dealing with hereditary cancer and predisposition syndromes. Dr. Auber was in high school when… Read more »

VarSeq NGS Workflow Design: Clinical vs. Research

         April 22, 2021
NGS Clinical Research

In many cases, VarSeq users design their next-gen sequencing workflows for a clinical application. One of the major values of using VarSeq is the standardization of sample analysis via project templates for filtering down to rare variants and isolate any clinically relevant variant. However, VarSeq also doubles as a robust research application as well. There are specific algorithms that can… Read more »

VarSeq Update: Support for the Interpretation of Non-coding and Splice Site Variants

         April 15, 2021
Splice site

While VarSeq has always had excellent support for variant interpretation and analysis, we continue to find new edge cases in the clinical literature that improve our interpretation capabilities. In this blog, we will be covering some of the new improvements in VarSeq to support the interpretation of non-coding and splice site variants. Transcript Annotation Improvements Let’s start by covering some… Read more »

New Assessment Catalogs Improve Saving and Tracking Variant Interpretations

         March 23, 2021

In this blog, we will be covering new assessment catalogs and how they work to improve saving and tracking variant interpretations. VarSeq is a variant analysis tool that effectively analyzes single nucleotide (SNVs) and copy number variants (CNVs) in both cancer and germline workflows.  Because VarSeq enables such diverse variant analysis, there are many research labs and institutions that evaluate… Read more »

New Mendel Error Algorithm in VarSeq

         March 2, 2021
mendel algorithm

In many cases, VarSeq users typically run single trio projects or perhaps an extended family project. Not only are all the inheritance model algorithms available in the VarSeq software to capture de novo, dominant, or recessively inherited variants but there are a number of quality control fields to help ensure the pedigree was set up properly. The last thing any… Read more »

New CNV Tools with VarSeq 2.2.2 Update

         February 16, 2021
copy number variant algorithm

Our latest release of the VarSeq software has had a major upgrade with the addition of the new CNV ACMG guidelines! Here are some recent webcasts we’ve given covering the new guideline tool: Family-Based Workflows in VarSeq and VSClinical A User’s Perspective: ACMG Guidelines for CNVs in VSClinical Not only does VarSeq 2.2.2 come with the new guideline tool, but… 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 »

Applying the Probability Segregation Algorithm for CNV Analysis

         February 4, 2021
Bioinformatics software

There is a multitude of interesting new features that have been incorporated into VarSeq 2.2.2. In this blog, I want to continue the discussion of these features and how each can be incorporated into your workflow, and also discuss the application of the Probability Segregation algorithm for copy number variation (CNV) analysis. The Probability Segregation algorithm is a new algorithm… Read more »

Updates on Splice Site Analysis

         February 2, 2021

Our latest VarSeq release is one of the largest we’ve ever had, boasting an extensive list of new features and improvements. As part of this release, we have dramatically expanded our support for splice site analysis. This includes improvements to our novel splice site algorithm and support for splice site effect prediction along with several other small improvements. Novel Splice… 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 »

Need Coverage Statistics? VarSeq Has You Covered!

         December 15, 2020

Curious about how coverage statistics can be used in conjunction with VarSeq? Evaluating the coverage over target regions or whole genomes is essential whether you are working with variant or CNV analysis. VarSeq has had the capability to compute sample level coverage statistics for some time now, but in the 2.2.2 release of VarSeq, there are some new features that… Read more »

Loss-of-Function Splice Variant in MTHFR

         November 26, 2020

In this blog post, I will be analyzing a loss-of-function splice variant in MTHFR using VarSeq. In the search for clinically relevant variants contributing to rare disorders, efficient filtering strategies are an important step in eliminating disinteresting variants. However, any applied filters must also ensure no interesting variants inadvertently get filtered out. Golden Helix provides the tools to complete this… Read more »

Golden Helix gets full marks in ClinGen’s list of Genomic Analysis Software Platforms

         August 26, 2020
Clinical Genome Resource

The potential of genetic testing to impact a patient’s life has been greatly accelerated by the sharing of variant interpretations done by clinical labs in public repositories such as ClinVar. This is not an inevitable outcome, but the persistent work and advocacy of people like Dr. Heidi Rehm and organizations like ClinGen. We recently participated in a survey and vetting… Read more »

Golden Helix’s End-to-End Architecture for Clinical Testing Labs

         December 19, 2019
Golden Helix's End-to-End Architecture

As clinical genetic tests have been adopted as a critical enabler of precision medicine, the number of tests offered by clinical labs and the volume of tested patients has grown by orders of magnitude in the past five years. The Gene Testing Registry, managed by the NIH, documented a rise from 13,000 to 60,000 tests offered in the US market… Read more »

VS-CNV; Golden Helix’s solution to replace traditional methods

         December 17, 2019

Copy Number Variation (CNV) is a type of structural variation in which sections of the genome are duplicated or deleted. Although CNV events are rare in the human population, constituting approximately 10% of the human genome, they are also associated with being causal mutations for disease phenotypes. Because of this, it is important for clinical and research settings to identify… Read more »

Clinical Variant Analysis: Part V

         March 5, 2019

Examples of Clinical Variant Interpretation with VSClinical In this chapter, I’d like to go through a few examples for variants that have been classified with the help of VSClinical. This will give you a better understanding of how data sources are actually being represented in the software and how those are used to make decisions on applicable criteria. It goes… Read more »

Clinical Variant Analysis: Part IV

         February 28, 2019

Rules for Combining Various Classification Criteria Now that we have a solid understanding of how the various criteria are meant to be applied, it’s time to look at how the evidence collectively leads to the clinical categorization of a variant. Let’s go through the rule framework for combining the various criteria. Pathogenic In order for a variant to be classified… Read more »

Clinical Variant Analysis: Part III

         February 26, 2019

Clinical Variant Analysis – Classification Criteria of Benign Variants The classification of benign variants is overall simpler and more straightforward, with the majority of benign variants being eliminated through allele frequency in various population catalogs. BA1 If a variant is common in one or more population catalog, as indicated by the allele frequency associated by the appropriate sub-population, it can… Read more »

Clinical Variant Analysis: Part II

         February 25, 2019

Clinical Variant Analysis – Classification Criteria of Pathogenic Variants The ACMG Guidelines are utilized for the interpretation of variants. They are primarily applied to diagnose suspected inherited (primarily Mendelian) disorders in a clinical diagnostic laboratory setting. While evaluating variants no matter what the origin, it is important to distinguish between variants that are pathogenic (i.e., causative) for a disease and a… Read more »

Top-Quality GWAS Analysis: Part I

         January 16, 2019

Importance of Quality in Association Tests SVS is a research application platform provided by Golden Helix that enables an array of computational analyses including genome-wide association studies (GWAS). GWAS is an observational study that can provide insight into the association of genetic variants with traits and complex disorders. The foundation of GWAS utilizes large cohorts sequenced with single nucleotide polymorphisms… Read more »