Category Archives: Best practices in genetic analysis

Merging VCFs in an Imperfect World

         September 7, 2021

Merging variant records across samples is important when performing trio or family analysis as it ensures that hereditary relationships can be properly inferred. There are many ways to represent a single variant. Insertions and deletions may be right or left aligned, prefixes and suffixes can be added, and adjacent variants in the same sample may be combined or split at… Read more »

Selecting Clinically Relevant Transcripts in VarSeq

         June 28, 2021

One of the many tricks of encoding so much functionality into so little space in eukaryotic genomes is the ability to produce multiple distinct mRNAs (transcripts) from a single gene. While one transcript is often the dominant one for a given tissue or cell type, there are, of course, exceptions in the messy reality of biology. It doesn’t take many… Read more »

Harmonizing Next-Generation Sequencing Data: VarSeq Liftover Tool

         June 15, 2021
genomeAsia

One of the inherent realities of next-generation sequencing is the ongoing updates to the human reference genome—one of the strongest recommendations to take the original sequencing data and remap to the latest genome assembly. However, there are several reasons why remapping may be impractical. So, an alternative solution is needed to convert the data running through an initial mapping to… Read more »

Highlights from our PhoRank 2.0 Webcast

         June 10, 2021

Thank you to those who attended our recent webcast, “PhoRank 2.0: Improved Phenotype-Based Gene Ranking in VarSeq”. For those who could not attend, you can find a link to the recording here. This webcast covered upcoming improvements to the PhoRank phenotype-based gene ranking algorithm based on literature published in the years since the algorithm’s development. The PhoRank Algorithm When performing… Read more »

Variant Filtration and Interpretation

         June 3, 2021

I learned about Batten disease from a childhood friend’s Facebook post. Over the course of a few months, her 8-year-old, Eva, the oldest of 4 daughters – Emily, Lucy, and Carly – was rapidly going blind. Baffled, doctors ran a genetic panel that returned a devastating result – the diagnosis of Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis or Batten disease. A broad… Read more »

Case Study – Hannover Medical School

         May 11, 2021
hannover

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 »