Category Archives: Clinical genetics

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 »

Variant Interpretation with VSClinical: Evaluation of an X-linked recessive mutation

         May 21, 2019

Overview VSClinical enables users to evaluate variants according to the ACMG guidelines in a high-throughput fashion and obtain consistent results and accurate variant interpretations. This feature is tightly integrated into our VarSeq platform as well, and when paired together, users can evaluate NGS data and obtain clinical reports all in one suite. Coupled with the ability to find novel or… Read more »

Variant Interpretation with VSClinical: Clinical Example for Congenital Indifference to Pain

         May 16, 2019

VSClinical provides a rapid-fire way to investigate any variant’s impact by following the ACMG Guidelines process for classification. We will be demonstrating this by looking at interesting examples of rare disorders and showcasing some evaluation steps users may deploy in their analysis. Our first example in this blog series is for a patient who has an indifference to pain, while… 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 »

Using GRCh38 for Clinical Interpretation: Now Possible with Our Custom LiftOver Tracks

         January 23, 2018

There are many good reasons why the pursuit of the highest quality genomic interpretation would lead you to the latest human reference. It is more complete and fixes incorrect or partially missing genes that have known implications for human disease. While most major projects cataloging human populations have plans to re-do all their genomic alignments to the new human reference… 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 »

Case Study: iTARGET Autism Project

         October 3, 2017

Dr. Suzanne Lewis is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at University of British Columbia (UBC) and Senior Investigator at British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), Vancouver, Canada. She is also the Chair of the iTARGET Autism Project and Vice-Chair of Autism Canada Chief Medical Officer and VP Research of Pacific Autism Family Network. She and… Read more »

Clinical Workflows Webcast Q&A

         July 13, 2017
Workflows in VarSeq

In case you missed our live event yesterday, I wanted to share the Q&A session and a link to the webcast recording: An Exploration of Clinical Workflows in VarSeq. Question:You mentioned saving projects as templates, will it save GenomeBrowse plots in the project template or do you have to replot the data when opening the software? Answer: Yes, if you save your… Read more »

CNV Caller Updates and More with VarSeq 1.4.5

         June 22, 2017
Genotype Imputation

We have been heads down doing the detailed and careful work to improve our CNV caller algorithm in the past three months since our we launched our Exome capable CNV caller and are very excited about the massive step forward we have made with the VarSeq 1.4.5 release. Additionally, we have added the all new Whole Genome large-event caller capable… Read more »

Annotating with gnomAD: Frequencies from 123,136 Exomes and 15,496 Genomes

         May 16, 2017
annotating gnomAd

Annotating with gnomAD: Frequencies from 123,136 Exomes and 15,496 Genomes When the Broad Institute team lead by Dan MacArthur announced at ASHG 2016 that the successor to the popular ExAC project (frequencies of 61,486 exomes) was live at http://gnomad.broadinstitute.org/, I thought their servers would have a melt-down as everyone immediately jumped on and started looking up their favorite genes and… Read more »

Updating VarSeq’s Transcript Annotation along with NCBI RefSeq Genes Interim Release

         March 30, 2017
transcription annotation

It may be possible to say that annotating a variant correctly and accurately against gene transcripts is the most important job of a variant annotation and interpretation tool. We take it very seriously at Golden Helix as we support VarSeq and its use by our customers in both research and clinical contexts. It has been a source of frustration that… Read more »

Massive Variant Boost to ClinVar & PubMed Citation Fields

         January 24, 2017
ClinVar

It may have been easy to miss in the drum-beat of monthly annotation updates we do here at Golden Helix, but there are a couple of things that are very special about the January update to the ClinVar database: We added new fields including HGVS names of variants and citations in PubMed for variants ClinVar nearly doubled in size by… Read more »

Case Study: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

         December 6, 2016
Laura Li

Dr. Laura Li and her colleagues at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are working to determine the underlying genetic causes of Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH), which is still unclear. ONH is the absence or under-development of the optic nerve and is currently the leading ocular cause of vision impairments and blindness in young children. ONH can also be combined… Read more »

Annotating Cancer Mutations with CIViC

         November 15, 2016
CIViC database

While clinical assessments of germline mutations have been collected in ClinVar under the stewardship of the NCBI and the collaborate effort of many testing labs, the same type of resource has been missing for mutations that could informal clinical care in Cancer. Or at least, that is what I thought until I started to work with CIViC. With the stewardship of… Read more »

Why Call CNVs: Getting More from your NGS Data

         October 11, 2016
CNV Call

Copy Number Variants have been important to clinical genetics for quite a while now. So, what has made now the right time to be looking at calling CNVs from NGS data? Well, there are a number of good reasons. The dominant one is simply that the NGS data you are already creating for calling variants can be used in many cases… Read more »

CADD, OMIM and OncoMD added to SVS

         October 6, 2016
CAD, OMIM and OncoMD

In our SVS 8.6.0 release, we updated our Annotate and Filter Variants feature to utilize our powerful VarSeq annotations. Annotations can be run against gene, interval, variant, and tabular tracks, including RefSeq, ClinVar, CADD, OMIM and OncoMD. The new streamlined dialog allows users to select track specific options and to set up custom filters. While our public annotation repository has… Read more »

CADD Scores: Rank and Filter in Harmony!

         May 19, 2016
VSClinical algorithm

There used to be much energy expended at conferences, bioinformatics forums and even publications about what was the better strategy for interpreting variants of clinical significance: Rule-based filtering and classification mechanisms or rank-based prioritization through all-encompassing “pathogenicity” scores. Both have shown to be effective. Rule-based systems, as exemplified in this filtering diagram in Baylor’s ground-breaking paper on clinical whole-exome sequencing… Read more »

N-of-One Integration comes to VSReports

         April 28, 2016

Submit directly to N-of-One from VarSeq If you or your lab uses N-of-One solutions for clinical annotations, here’s some good news: You can now submit directly to N-of-One from VarSeq! N-of-One’s set of preferred transcripts may differ from those outputted by our algorithms in VarSeq, so our solution was built with that in mind. Our slick, easy to use, and… Read more »

Clinical Reports – New & Improved Templates!

         April 14, 2016

Clinical reports come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. With that in mind, our clinical reporting interface VSReports was built to be highly customizable and flexible.  With a little Javascript and HTML know-how, your clinical reports can be customized to meet the needs and goals of your lab. With a little Javascript and HTML know how, you can customize yours as… Read more »

Practical VarSeq Example – Cancer Gene Panel

         March 15, 2016

Recently, we were excited to find a new example data set for cancer gene panels. We have included this example data in the latest e-book by Dr. Andreas Scherer, Genetic Testing for Cancer as well as in the latest cancer webcast . This data is from Illumina’s MiniSeq sequencer and the TruSight Cancer panel. The BAM and VCF files for three samples… Read more »