Tag Archives: personal genomics

SNPpets_2

Friday SNPpets

This week’s SNPpets include quite a range of things. New species genomes projects (pineapple is out, bauhinia being crowdfunded). I dare you to resist a tool called “Time Curves“.  The pre-print on over 60k protein coding human variations. Updates via FlyBase and discussed for QIIME. Best quip of the week: You can buy a DNA test on Amazon and it costs less than the textbook about it. A couple of items on bioinformatics pain. Some new solutions. And more….


SNPpets_2Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…


 

SNPpets_2

Friday SNPpets

This week’s SNPpets include a lot of back-and-forth on the artist formerly known as personal genomics (now personalized medicine). We got the EU mucking up access, we have privacy issues unearthed, we have the cost of variant calling–and the uncounted cost of other analyses. But we also have the importance of genome sharing. There’s a follow-up story on the kid who was the “first child saved by genome sequencing”. Also some cool research on “essential” human genes. New databases or updates, as usual (dbGaP is one I need to go deeper on). And more….


SNPpets_2Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…


 

Biostars

What’s the Answer? (genomics guidance for the general public)

This week’s highlighted discussion at Biostars was one that I opened. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, because I’m seeing it come up in a number of different ways. There are folks who are googling and finding genomics nerds in a variety of places. Some of the communities will be more welcoming than others. But I think it’s in our best interest to be helpful to families with data, and not come off too harsh because it’s not exactly how our forum works….


Biostars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the Biostars_logo community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at Biostars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Thursdays we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at Biostars.


Forum: For the general public seeking advice from this community

Hello folks–

Yesterday I saw a thread posted by a member of the general public, looking for advice for their child’s medical issues. This thread has been deleted (I think), but I was able to read some of the commentary before it disappeared.

The community had some concerns about private medical information being revealed. And some concerns about seeking advice from strangers on the internet instead of qualified practitioners in real life. These are valid issues.

However, my point is more general. This may become increasingly an issue here as more people have (or hear about) sequence information, and want some advice for it. I think it is wise for this community to stay away from diagnosis. But I think we could offer these folks some guidance to appropriate resources.

Please have some compassion for the desperation that the parents of kids with undiagnosed conditions face. And keep in mind that their thresholds for privacy are not the same as everyone else, possibly. And understand that they are hearing stories about how familes connected with researchers who could help them from random internet forums. The most recent one I saw was this: Answers.

But other stories like this are widely read: How Genome Sequencing Creates Communities Around Rare Disorders.

Could we possibly have a place to point these families, like a thread that we can sticky or something? Where we can offer them connections to the Rare Disease sequencing projects, or genetic counseling resources, non-wonky information sources like Genetics Home Reference, or something? The international group here probably could collect a good set of pointers for people around the world.

I guess I’m asking for a constructive place for some guidance for families, and a policy about how to deal with those kinds of threads.

Open for discussion.

Has any of the genomics nerd discussion communities developed a policy on this? Should we reach out to genetic counselors, maybe? We may also need legal advice. Anyone seen other places take this on? Please add your thoughts over at Biostars.

dna_cutting_with_scissors_hr-150x150

Friday SNPpets

This week’s SNPpets include stories about the FlyBase memoriam for Bill Gelbart, Phenolyzer for gene discovery from phenotypes, tissue- and tumor-PPI comparison, Beacon, shotgun metagenomics, the future decade in genomics, no-so-scary personal genome sequencing and apps for it, DNA-barcoded beer, and more.


Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…


dna_cutting_with_scissors_hr-150x150

Friday SNPpets

This week’s SNPpets include free passes for Phil Bourne’s keynote talk in Boston next week, software for analysis of the effects of protein variants, interpreting your own genome, a book review of a tome on bioinformatics that’s getting very good chatter among the practitioners, free image analysis tools for microscopy, and more….


Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…

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Note: We might need to change the format of FridaySNPpets, since Twitter just made it harder to capture the text format for pasting. But embedded tweets may not be searchable, which is one reason we’ve done these this way. Anyway, stay tuned.

What’s The Answer? (23andMe to other formats)

Biostars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the Biostars_logo community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at Biostars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at Biostars.

This week’s highlighted question was from someone with personal genomics data in their hands, but doesn’t know what to do next.

Question: How to I convert 23andMe Raw Genome to GenBank or FASTA?

I used 23andMe to download my raw genome. I have it in a .txt file but you can’t use the format for real bio programs. i want to make my own library for further analysis. Does anyone know how i can convert .TXT to FASTA, GenBank, or any other usable file type?

someashole

Although Biostar usually hosts questions from folks who are a bit more advanced in their grasp of file formats, this question struck me as interesting for a couple of reasons. The needs of folks who are not practitioners, but who find themselves with data in their hands, will only increase going forward. And although the companies will offer some tools, there’s a niche for some lighter-weight public tools. I discussed this before on the issue of genome browsers, which are currently too much heavy lifting for intro-level users. I know there are some open data communities forming around this data too, but so far what I’ve seen has been more sophisticated early adopter types.

But I imagine it would be difficult to get funding for such intro-level tools. They probably wouldn’t score well on “innovation” and some of the other traditional grant criteria because–well, because that’s not what the system does.

Maybe it would make some good class projects for some coders who are learning to build tools, and to work with this type of data. Make some gentle 23andme to X-format converters. A browser that’s not too hard to load your data up and look around without too many tracks. These folks are going to need more hand-holding. They don’t know what formats they need, or what is available for them to do.

But have a look at the answers, and if you have other guidance for this newbie, drop some comments over there.

What’s The Answer? (23andMe bioinformatics)

BioStar is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStar that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at BioStar.

This week’s highlighted Biostar item is an incarnation of the 23andMe drama. I’ve seen people take on the legal, medical practice, and social aspects. But this thread takes on the underlying bioinformatics as an issue. I thought that was interesting.

Forum: FDA sends a warning letter to 23andMe – Personal Genomics Service marketing to be discontinued

There has been an interesting development in the world of personal genomics. The FDA sent what may be interpreted a cease and desists order:

Therefore, 23andMe must immediately discontinue marketing the Personal Genome Service (PGS) until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device.

Read more here: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm376296.htm

This seems to put bioinformaticians at the forefront of deciding what constitutes credible evidence that the PGS does indeed work as advertised.

Istvan Albert

I added my favorite additional pieces over there, which haven’t got much airplay among the genoscenti. But go have a look at the wider discussion among bioinformatics practitioners, which I thought was interesting.

Tip of the Week: Gemini, exploration of genetic variation

You Tube:

This week’s tip of the week is on Gemini which is the acronym for “GENome MINing.” Unlike most of the tips we give every week, this one is a software package. But, it is does use and integrate with many internet databases such as dbSNP, ENCODE, UCSC, ClinVar and KEGG. It’s also a freely available, open source tool and quite a useful software package that gives the researcher the ability to create quite complex queries based on genotypes, inheritance patterns, etc.  The above 12 minute clip is a talk given at a conference that gives a introduction of the science behind the tool.

The abstract from the recent paper from the developers gives a good introduction concerning the functionality of the tool:

Modern DNA sequencing technologies enable geneticists to rapidly identify genetic variation among many human genomes. However, isolating the minority of variants underlying disease remains an important, yet formidable challenge for medical genetics. We have developed GEMINI (GEnome MINIng), a flexible software package for exploring all forms of human genetic variation. Unlike existing tools, GEMINI integrates genetic variation with a diverse and adaptable set of genome annotations (e.g., dbSNP, ENCODE, UCSC, ClinVar, KEGG) into a unified database to facilitate interpretation and data exploration. Whereas other methods provide an inflexible set of variant filters or prioritization methods, GEMINI allows researchers to compose complex queries based on sample genotypes, inheritance patterns, and both pre-installed and custom genome annotations. GEMINI also provides methods for ad hoc queries and data exploration, a simple programming interface for custom analyses that leverage the underlying database, and both command line and graphical tools for common analyses. We demonstrate GEMINI’s utility for exploring variation in personal genomes and family based genetic studies, and illustrate its ability to scale to studies involving thousands of human samples. GEMINI is designed for reproducibility and flexibility and our goal is to provide researchers with a standard framework for medical genomics.

If you’d like to learn more, there is some pretty good documentation of the software package here.

While I’m at it, and totally unrelated except it’s human genomics, there is this slideshare presentation of the ‘current’ state of personal genomics. Current is in quotes because the slideshare is actually from 3 years ago, but there is a lot of good information in there. Anyone know of a more up-to-date slide set or extensive intro to the current state of personal genomics science similar to this?

 

Relevent Links:

GEMINI Software package
dbSNP
ENCODE
UCSC Genome Browser
ClinVar
KEGG

(tutorials are linked below for those tools in bold above)

Relevant Reference:

Paila U, Chapman BA, Kirchner R, & Quinlan AR (2013). GEMINI: Integrative Exploration of Genetic Variation and Genome Annotations. PLoS computational biology, 9 (7) PMID: 23874191

Google DNA Maps (spoof…er…I think…)

I had no intention of posting for a few days because of the holiday, but this was just too funny to pass up. I had to watch it a couple of times to catch everything; even the crawls at the bottom are hysterical.

Hat tip to Casey Bergman for retweeting this–I might have missed it otherwise.

@jandot: Google DNA Maps - hilarious, well, kind of …  http://youtu.be/mOgTVx9ge5M

Ethics committee report on genome sequencing and privacy

Well, this changes my morning. It’s a 150 page report.

Get the report itself here: Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing

Press or blog coverage (I’ll update if I see others):

Nature: US ethics panel reports on DNA sequencing and privacy

Science: President’s Ethics Panel Urges New Protections for Whole Genome Data

AP: Bioethics panel urges more gene privacy protection

USA Today: Panel: Protect patients who use whole genome sequencing

AARP: How private is your genetic code? Less so than you might think.