Category Archives: Best practices in genetic analysis

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 »

Optimized Breeding Selection via Genomic Prediction

         December 11, 2018

What is Genomic Prediction? Genomic prediction is an algorithm widely used to improve desirable phenotypic traits in agriculture. For example, the cattle industry uses genomic prediction to improve beef quality and palatability as well as improve dairy production (1,2). By using genomic prediction, researchers can minimize multiple expenses in breeding industries as well as diminish the need for performing cumbersome… Read more »

GRCh38 Liftover: Ensuring Top Quality Variant Analysis

         November 27, 2018

In a recent webcast, our VP of Product and Engineering Gabe Rudy gave us insight into the current capability and benefits to lifting over to the GRCh38 assembly. Golden Helix fully supports this transition into the most recent reference assembly and have developed our tools on both the 38 and 37 fronts. The purpose of this blog is to not… Read more »

VSClinical Best Practice Workflows: Part I

         November 13, 2018

VSClinical is our most recent product that allows users to evaluate variants according to the ACMG guidelines. As with any tertiary analysis, there is a need to implement best practices into your workflow and using VSClinical for the ACMG guidelines is no exception. That said, we have put together a Best Practices Blog Series, with the purpose of discussing some… Read more »

Clinical Variant Interpretation: Part VII

         May 3, 2018
VSClinical algorithm

Automating the ACMG Guidelines and Providing Scoring Recommendations As we discussed in our recent webcast on VSClinical, the process of scoring the ACMG guidelines requires evaluating evidence for the connection between a variant and the disorder or condition being evaluated by the genetic test for an individual. These lines of evidence cover clinical presentation, gene function, bioinformatic annotations and in-silico… 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 »