Category Archives: Bioinformatic support

Variant Normalization: Underappreciated Critical Infrastructure

         July 7, 2016
Variant Normalization

Variant Normalization: Underappreciated Critical Infrastructure It may surprise you to learn that every variant in the human genome has an infinite number of representations! Of course, although true, I’m being a bit hyperbolic to prove a point. Even seemingly simple mutations like single letter substitutions are legitimately represented differently in the local context of other mutations that can be described… Read more »

ICGC: The Next Generation Cancer Mutation Database Now Available

         April 21, 2016

ICGC’s database is now available For quite a while, COSMIC has been synonymous with the catalog of “known somatic mutations”. It is the ClinVar of cancer mutations and invests heavily in “expert curation” (having human experts read papers and pull out references to published somatic mutations). But it turns out there is a new kid on the block, and he… Read more »

Q&A from the Two Clinical Workflows webcast

         November 5, 2015
CNV User

Our webcast yesterday featured two clinical workflows and and the ease in moving from an unfiltered variant file to a clinical report containing the variants of interest using VarSeq and VSReports. There were several great questions and I wanted to pass on a few of particular interest. Question: Are annotation sources included in VarSeq for free?

Clinical Reporting comes to VarSeq

         September 17, 2015

The next release of VarSeq will ship a new product that is highly relevant to our customers in clinical testing labs. Via VSReports, VarSeq now has the ability to generate clinical-grade reports. These reports are fully customizable, containing focused and actionable data. VS Reports ships with report templates that are modeled off of the ACMG guidelines, the de-facto gold standard… Read more »

Between Two Bases: Coordinate Representations for Describing Variants

         August 27, 2015

Have you ever scratched your head when looking up a variant and it seems like the number you have for its position is one off from what it looks like in the file or database? You may be running into the dreaded world of 1-based versus 0-based coordinate representation! If it’s any consolation, I can promise that all the bioinformaticians… Read more »

Accurate Annotations: Updates to the NHLBI Exome Sequencing Project Variant Catalog

         May 19, 2015

Since its early release in early 2012, the population frequencies from the GO Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) – from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have been a staple of the genomic community. With the recent release of ExAC exome variant frequencies, the ESP has been surpassed as the largest cohort of publicly available variant frequencies (by nearly… Read more »

Genetic Testing for Cancer

         January 20, 2015

In 1914 the German cytologist Theodor Boveri coined the phrase “Cancer is a disease of the genome”. At this time his ideas were equally revolutionary as they were highly contested. Fast forward. More than hundred years later, Next-Generation Sequencing effectively permits a highly sensitive analysis of cancer cells. It can help us to understand mutations associated with cancer development and… Read more »

Analyzing Whole Exome, Large-n Cohorts in SVS

         November 25, 2014

It’s come to my attention in recent weeks, through various customer interactions, that many are not aware of the fantastic functionalities that exist in SNP and Variation Suite (SVS) for large-n DNASeq workflows; this includes large cohort analyses with case/control variables. The data you’ll see below is the publically available 1kG Phase 1 v3 Exome sequences from 1,092 individuals with… Read more »

6 Population Catalogs Compared with the ExAC 61,486 Exomes

         November 13, 2014

To say the announcement of Dan MacArthur’s group’s release of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) data was highly anticipated at ASHG 2014 would be an understatement. Basically, there were two types of talks at ASHG. Those that proceeded the official ExAC release talk and referred to it, and those that followed the talk and referred to it. Why is this… 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 »

Back to Basics: Importing/Exporting Data in Imputation Program Data Formats with SVS

         December 31, 2013

In a recent blog post (Comparing BEAGLE, IMPUTE2, and Minimac Imputation Methods for Accuracy, Computation Time, and Memory Usage), Autumn Laughbaum compared three imputation programs. Data can be exported from, or imported into, SVS in the standard file formats for these and other imputation programs. The goal of this blog post will be to review the different tools available to… Read more »

SVS Workflow Automation Webcast: Your Questions Answered

         September 20, 2013

Last week, we presented a webcast on Workflow Automation in SVS. If you were unable to attend, a recording of it is on our website: In this post I’ll respond to some of the questions we were unable to answer within the allotted time. Will you provide a link for the software used in the webcast? I used Golden… Read more »

Announcing Technical Support Bulletins

         July 20, 2012

Last month I was inspired to create a new way to keep our customers apprised of the latest information on Golden Helix software without cluttering inboxes and overwhelming our blog. I happened to receive a link to an article for one of Illumina’s bulletins and realized that was exactly what we needed at Golden Helix as well! On Wednesday, we… Read more »

New 1kG, dbNSFP, and ESP6500 Annotation Tracks and Associated Filters

         July 16, 2012

SVS 7.6.7 features new tools for filtering sequencing data based on functional predictions and allele frequencies. To complement these new features, new annotations tracks have been uploaded to our data server and are now available for our customers! Below you will find descriptions of the new tools and the related annotations track(s).

New Technical Support Bulletins (Forthcoming!), and a Known Bug with Filter Samples by Call Rate

         June 27, 2012

As Product Quality Manager, I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about the best way to communicate with our Golden Helix customers with regards to product quality and customer support issues. Most of our customers at this point have already seen several emails from me this year! Email is certainly one way to get an announcement… Read more »

How SVS Treats Gender in Calculating Genotype Statistics

         May 9, 2012

Recently several customers have asked how SNP & Variation Suite (SVS) treats gender when calculating genotype statistics. In this blog post, I will cover SVS’ current capabilities, what we have available through Python scripts, and what is coming in the near future. We thank all of our customers who have inquired about these capabilities and have given us valuable feedback… Read more »