Category Archives: Bioinformatic support

Demystifying the Representation of Structural Variants Imported into VarSeq

         May 20, 2024

VarSeq enables users to import structural variants for annotation, filtration, and subsequent clinical or other analyses. Structural variants are often called during secondary analysis as belonging to two broad categories – Copy Number Variants (CNVs) with the file suffix “…_CNV.vcf” and Breakends with the file suffix “…_SV.vcf”. This blog will give some insight into how structural variants are triaged when… Read more »

Evaluation Script Adding Variants to Catalog

         April 23, 2024

Variant curation is one of the most important aspects of a next-generation sequencing workflow. The routine application of previously rendered interpretations, paired with the ability to take into account evolving knowledge bases, allows clinical practices to rapidly and accurately provide life-saving results to patients. Hence, assessment catalogs, versatile databases that store variant interpretations for rapid access, form one of the… Read more »

Computed Fields in VarSeq: The ultimate customization tool

         April 2, 2024

Bioinformatic freedom is core to the user experience with Golden Helix software, a topic with which you will be well-versed if you’ve kept up on our recent blogs. We are constantly endeavoring to provide our users with powerful tools to tackle complex and impactful next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflows while maintaining transparency and the ability to customize and augment each component… Read more »

Five Ways to Optimize Workflows with VarSeq

         March 7, 2024

There are many ways to optimize an individual workflow, from increasing the granularity of a filter chain to automating certain multi-stepped tasks. Although the best way to optimize an individual workflow is to book a session with our FAS team to talk about your unique use case, we wanted to highlight five ways a workflow can be optimized across most… Read more »

Managing Gene Preferences and Preferred Transcripts in VarSeq

         January 16, 2024

There are several contextual factors to consider when analyzing genomic data for NGS analyses. A variant may have divergent impacts depending on which transcript of the gene is being considered, or the impact of a variant could be weighed more or less heavily depending on the disease context. Evidently, the user’s gene preferences are very important, but not all software… Read more »

Evaluating DeepMind’s AlphaMissense Classifier

         October 20, 2023

Last month, the researchers at Google DeepMind announced the release of AlphaMissense, a new missense prediction algorithm that leverages the protein structure prediction model AlphaFold to distinguish between benign and pathogenic missense variants (Cheng et al., 2023).  AlphaFold is a model for the prediction of protein structures from amino acid sequences. During the development of AlphaMissense, the AlphaFold model was… Read more »

Interpreting Fusions Variants in VCFs: A Handy Tool

         August 22, 2023

When interpreting fusions in their VCF format, it is not easy immediately grasp which side of the positions are adjacent in the resulting fusion. When interpreting and troubleshooting fusion variants, I usually find myself reaching for the VCF spec. If you, like me, are looking to speed up this process and gain a quick understanding of the fusions in your… Read more »

Using Text Manifests to Load in Sample Patient Information

         August 3, 2023

The ability to import patient-level information into VarSeq and VSClinical can not only save time while evaluating a sample but can be a critical step in automating project creation through VSPipeline. Here we will review how to construct a basic text manifest and how to apply that manifest to a project. Those fields can then be rendered into the final… Read more »

Importing External Assessment Catalogs for use in VSClinical ACMG and VSClinical AMP

         July 13, 2023

When doing clinical variant analysis, it is often essential to keep track of the variants that are encountered in each sample, their pathogenic or oncogenic classifications, which individual created or saved an interpretation, and when. For this purpose, VarSeq prompts VSClinical users to create default assessment catalogs in which to store variants and other events. However, we are aware that… Read more »

New dog, old tricks: How to bring existing variant catalogs into VarSeq

         May 15, 2023

Learn how VarSeq revolutionizes NGS workflows by enabling the integration of comprehensive internal databases, allowing bioinformaticians to create custom pipelines and maximize data analysis efficiency. Are you a current (or future) VarSeq user with a perfect, comprehensive, internal database you simply can’t part with and can’t replicate? Do you dream of coalescing many disparate workflows into a consistent, reliable pipeline?… Read more »

VarSeq Customization and Automation with VSCode

         March 9, 2023
VarSeq Customization and Automation with VSCode Blog

Enhancing VarSeq Customization and Automation with Visual Studio Code: A Guide to Evaluation and Reporting Scripting Are you as excited as we are about the new automation and customization features we’ve been rolling out with VarSeq’s most recent release, VarSeq 2.3.0? Do your eyes light up at the prospect of automated integration of various data sources into VarSeq’s evaluation and… Read more »

Exploring the CRAM File Format in VarSeq 2.3.0

         January 17, 2023

Unlocking the Potential of CRAM Files: The New VarSeq 2.3.0 Release for Enhanced Plotting, Coverage Analysis, and CNV Detection The CRAM (Compressed Reference-oriented Alignment Map) file format was conceived in 2011 as a more space-efficient way to store alignment data. It saves space over the previous standard BAM (Binary Alignment Map) by only storing the differences between each read and… Read more »

4 Essential Support Resources for Golden Helix Software Users

         January 5, 2023
4 Essential Support Resources for Golden Helix Customers BLOG Image

Golden Helix provides extensive resources to help our users who are just getting started and address any issues they may encounter as they become more familiar with our software. Our resources are constantly updated and are tailored to the needs of our users. If you’re facing a problem, it’s likely that others have encountered it as well, and we’ve included… Read more »

Using rsID lookup in a VarSeq Workflow

         October 4, 2022

There are many reasons a user may wish to focus in on specific variants as part of variant annotation and filtration workflow. You may be looking for the occurrence of specific SNPs in a cohort or perhaps looking for variants known to be associated with specific forms of cancer. For both of these use cases, VarSeq provides a Match String… Read more »

Streamlining Variant Analysis for Large Genetic Cohorts: Part 1

         September 27, 2022

Large genetic cohorts require substantial effort to analyze. Genetic researchers are increasingly turning to whole exome and whole genome sequencing analyses for their clinical diagnostics and research. However, with that approach comes the challenge of making sense of these massive datasets. This is especially challenging when looking for tools that can streamline variant analysis for large genetic cohorts and include… Read more »

Using ACMG Secondary Findings v3.0 List in VarSeq and VSClinical

         December 21, 2021

As the number of genes on a gene panel increases, there is the possibility of picking up variants of medical significance that are not related to the primary indication for the test. Especially with large gene panels, exomes, and genomes, it is medically and ethically important to report variants that may be actionable to the patient. These include variants implicating… Read more »

Consideration when using CADD in your NGS Workflow

         December 15, 2021

VarSeq serves as a streamlined approach to handle the rare variant analysis typically carried out for your next-generation sequencing data. Our team at Golden Helix seeks to simplify this process by automating the curation of staple databases needed for filtering and evaluation of clinically relevant variants. The goal we seek to accomplish with our software is to provide ease in… Read more »

Alternate Allele Frequency and VCF File Format

         December 7, 2021

VCF file format comes with a lot of interesting quality assurance and statistics fields that can be used for filtering in VarSeq. Open your files in a text editor to see all the fields that are available in your files, each field will have a header line with a description of its content. See the VCF Specifications to help with… 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
curate

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 »