Category Archives: Best practices in genetic analysis

Variant Notation: In simplicity we find complexity

         October 9, 2014

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) notation — you know “G dot”, “P dot”, and “C dot”. HGVS has quickly become one of the most common ways to represent variants.  It’s no wonder that HGVS nomenclature is used so widely. It provides an easily readable, compact representation of a variant. Since it is… Read more »

Top 3 Most Viewed Tutorials from Golden Helix

         September 12, 2014

Tutorials are ever-present in the world today, and for good reason. Why struggle through a complicated process yourself, when there is already a guide established to assist? While no one would suggest that a tutorial is the only way to complete a project, it is certainly a nice starting point. This rings true with genetic software as well. There are… Read more »

Top 5 Webcasts to Watch at GoldenHelix.com

         August 26, 2014

Genomic research is exploding. There is a plethora of new methods and workflows for research and clinical use. While we are a software company at heart, we find ourselves in the role of educators. Our customer interactions are about informing, teaching, and consulting. A few years back, we started with regular webcasts that took this idea to the next level…. Read more »

Leveraging SVS for NGS Workflows

         August 19, 2014

Over the last decade, DNA sequencing has made vast technological improvements. With the cost of sequencing decreasing significantly, sequencing technology has become a product for the masses. The sequencing technology and programs that were once used exclusively by major research institutions are now becoming available in many research facilities around the globe. These tools produce large amounts of data sets… Read more »

RefSeq Genes: Updated to NCBI Provided Alignments and Why You Care

         August 14, 2014

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 »

Runs of Homozygosity Updated

         August 12, 2014

For the SVS 8.2 release we decided to improve upon the existing ROH feature. The improvements include new parameters to define a run and a new clustering algorithm to aide in finding more stringent clusters of runs. The improvements were motivated by customer comments and a recent research paper by Zhang 2013, “cgaTOH: Extended Approach for Identifying Tracts of Homozygosity,”… Read more »

Have you ever had a bad experience with a VCF file?

         August 5, 2014

“Who has ever had a bad experience with a VCF file?” I like to ask that question to the audience when I present data analysis workshops for Golden Helix. The question invariably draws laughter as many people raise their hands in the affirmative. It seems that just about everybody who has ever worked VCF files has encountered some sort of… Read more »

The State of Variant Annotation: A Comparison of AnnoVar, snpEff and VEP

         June 25, 2014

Up until a few weeks ago, I thought variant classification was basically a solved problem. I mean, how hard can it be? We look at variants all the time and say things like, “Well that one is probably not too detrimental since it’s a 3 base insertion, but this frameshift is worth looking into.” What we fail to recognize is… Read more »

The New Human Genome Reference and Clinical Grade Annotations: It’s All About the Coordinates

         February 17, 2014

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 »

Public Data? What’s that good for anyway?

         February 12, 2014

Dr. Bryce Christensen recently gave a webcast on Maximizing Public Data Sources for Sequencing and GWAS Studies in which he covered options for getting GWAS and sequence information online, tips for working with these datasets and what you’ll see in terms of data quality and usefulness, how to use public data sources in conjunction with your GWAS or sequence study… Read more »

Guest Post: Finding Rare Pieces of Hay in a Haystack

         August 19, 2013

Utilizing Identical Twins Discordant for Schizophrenia to Uncover de novo Mutations We are living in exciting times – the reality of high-resolution Cand individual genome sequencing now offers renewed hope in the search for the causes of complex diseases. When this technology is combined with genetic relationships, individual sequences add unrivaled proficiency. Our lab is located in London, Ontario, Canada… Read more »

More Mixed Model Methods!

         June 6, 2013

Thanks to everyone for the great webcast yesterday. We had over 850 people register for the event and actually broke the record! Take that Bryce and Gabe! If you would like to see the recording, view it at: Mixed Models: How to Effectively Account for Inbreeding and Population Structure in GWAS. While preparing for this webcast, we chose to focus… Read more »

Upcoming webcast – Mixed Models: How to Effectively Account for Inbreeding and Population Structure in GWAS

         May 22, 2013

Presenter: Greta Linse Peterson, Senior Statistician Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 Time: 12:00 pm EDT, 60 minutes Abstract Population structure and inbreeding can confound results from a standard genome-wide association test. Accounting for the random effect of relatedness can lead to lower false discovery rates and identify the causative markers without over-correcting and dampening the true signal. This presentation will… Read more »

Population Structure + Genetic Background + Environment = Mixed Model

         March 22, 2013

A few months ago, our CEO, Christophe Lambert, directed me toward an interesting commentary published in Nature Reviews Genetics by authors Bjarni J. Vilhjalmsson and Magnus Nordborg.  Population structure is frequently cited as a major source of confounding in GWAS, but the authors of the article suggest that the problems often blamed on population structure actually result from the environment… Read more »

Follow Along on an Analyst’s Journey to Filter Whole Genome Data to Four Candidate Variants in SVS

         March 14, 2013

Last week Khanh-Nhat Tran-Viet, Manager/Research Analyst II at Duke University, presented the webcast: Insights: Identification of Candidate Variants using Exome Data in Ophthalmic Genetics. (That link has the recording if you are interested in viewing.) In it, Khanh-Nhat highlighted tools available in SVS that might be under used or were recently updated. These tools were used in his last three… Read more »

GATK is a Research Tool. Clinics Beware.

         December 3, 2012

In preparation for a webcast I’ll be giving on Wednesday on my own exome, I’ve been spending more time with variant callers and the myriad of false-positives one has to wade through to get to interesting, or potentially significant, variants. So recently, I was happy to see a message in my inbox from the 23andMe exome team saying they had… Read more »

Dr. Ken Kaufman’s Webcast on Exome Sequencing Wildly Successful

         August 9, 2012

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for a webcast by Dr. Ken Kaufman of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: “Identification of Candidate Functional Polymorphism Using Trio Family Whole Exome DNA Data.” Over 750 people registered for this event and 430 attended – a new Golden Helix record! If you missed the webcast (or would like to watch it again), the… Read more »

One Track to Rule Them All: Close but not quite from the 1000 Genomes Project

         July 31, 2012

I recently curated the latest population frequency catalog from the 1000 Genomes Project onto our annotation servers, and I had very high hopes for this track. First of all, I applaud 1000 Genomes for the amount of effort they have put in to providing the community with the largest set of high-quality whole genome controls available. My high hopes are… Read more »

Why You Should Care About Segmental Duplications

         June 6, 2012

My work in the GHI analytical services department gives me the opportunity to handle data from a variety of sources.  I have learned over time that every genotyping platform has its own personality.  Every time we get data from a new chip, I tend to learn something new about the quirks of genotyping technology.  I usually discover these quirks the… Read more »