Category Archives: Clinical genetics

Handling a Variety of CNV Caller Inputs with VarSeq – Webcast Recap

         July 19, 2022

First, thank you to everyone who joined us for our recent webcast, Handling a Variety of CNV Caller Inputs with VarSeq. Also, we would like to thank those that Tweeted #CNVsupport @GoldenHelix or emailed us ( to throw in their questions. This was a successful trial run, and we would like to continue engaging with our users through these outlets…. Read more »

What’s Coming to VSClinical: Expanded Clinical Trial Search Results

         May 17, 2022

While the interpretation of germline variants generally focuses on the pathogenicity of a variant for a specific disease, the interpretation of somatic variants is centered around each variant’s impact on clinical care. As a result, clinical trials play an important role in assessing the clinical significance of somatic biomarkers, with the AMP Guidelines assigning a higher level of evidence to… Read more »

Reporting Secondary Germline Variants in VSClinical AMP

         March 2, 2022
Reporting Secondary Germline Variants in VSClinical AMP

Tumor profiling via next generation sequencing (NGS) often reveals secondary germline variants that may constitute important incidental findings. In May 2021, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) released an updated policy statement for reporting incidental findings in exome and genome sequencing data along with a corresponding list of genes. These recommendations state that laboratories should report pathogenic… 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 »

A Simple Guide to Curating Genome Assemblies

         June 8, 2021

A common feature request from Golden Helix customers is to curate and make available genome assemblies for different plant and animal species. These requests commonly come from SVS users as many research projects are being carried out, and having the genome assembly available for analysis is essential. That being said, Golden Helix has an SVS Tutorial available that walks users… Read more »

Webcast Recap: Exome Analysis with VS-CNV and VSClinical: Updated Strategies and Expanded Capabilities

         April 8, 2021
Exome CNV webcast

Thank you to those who attended the recent webcast, “Exome Analysis with VS-CNV & VSClinical: Updated Strategies & Expanded Capabilities”. For those who could not attend but wish to watch, here is a link to the recording. In this webcast, we covered the capabilities and updates that have been incorporated into VarSeq that enhance whole exome sequencing workflows. The new… Read more »

Orphanet Annotations in VarSeq

         March 18, 2021

Orphanet is a public database available in VarSeq that aims to improve the current understanding and treatment options for patients affected by rare diseases. This resource was established in France in 1997 and has gradually grown to cover a consortium of over 40 countries in Europe. The primary goal of this database is to provide a universal nomenclature to classify… Read more »

Customizing New VSClinical Report Templates

         March 9, 2021
VSClinical Word reporting

Clinical testing labs produce reports as the end product of the NGS variant detection and interpretation workflow. Necessarily, the content, detail, and presentation of the report needs to be specialized to each clinical lab, and potentially each offered test. Our last blog post introduced the new Word-based report templates in VSClinical. In this blog post, we will introduce and explore… 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 »

Lock in Annotation Source Versions to Increase Workflow Consistency

         February 25, 2021
Annoation Sources

Next-generation sequencing generates an immense amount of data which is then subject to a multi-step process to establish a validated bioinformatic pipeline. From processing raw sequence data to the detection of genetic mutations, establishing a validated and consistent bioinformatic pipeline makes a huge difference in the quality of patient care and accuracy of results. In this blog, we are focusing… Read more »

New VSClinical ACMG Word Report Templates

         February 18, 2021

The recent release of VarSeq 2.2.2 brings our Word report template system, previously featured in VSClinical AMP, to the VSClinical ACMG workflow. This blog post will describe how to use the Word template system using one of our shipped templates as well as how to start customizing your own templates. We will cover the three different report templates that ship… Read more »

Adding Population Catalogs to VSClinical

         December 10, 2020
example population view

Our previous webcast demonstrated some of the new functionalities of VSClinical, including the ability to add ACMG frequency sources for the ACMG BA1, BS1, and PM2 criteria. This new feature was spurred by the feedback from our users, which requested supporting frequency tracks other than gnomAD Exomes and 1kG Phase3. Now, users can implement population catalogs to VSClinical such as… 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 »

Webcast Recap: Evaluation of CNVs with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guideline Workflow

         November 10, 2020

In the webcast, Evaluation of Copy Number Variants with VSClinical’s New ACMG Guideline Workflow, we discussed how VSClinical implements Section 4 of the ACMG guidelines. Specifically, we focused on integrating literature and publications to assess the pathogenicity of a CNV event when there was a lack of dosage sensitivity information. One of the primary pieces of evidence for evaluating genes… 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 »

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 »