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Thursday, February 16, 2017

AGBT 2017, Day 2: Diploid Genomes, Deep Learning, and the PacBio Workshop

The second day of AGBT featured a number of great talks and posters, and also our user workshop called “Covering All the Bases with SMRT Sequencing.” We’d like to thank the hundreds of attendees who crowded into the room for this event! The workshop kicked off with Nezih Cereb, CEO of Histogenetics, who spoke about using long-read PacBio sequencing for typing HLA class I and II genes, which are important for applications such as matching organ transplants to recipients. The company has been performing industrial-scale SMRT Sequencing since it first acquired its PacBio RS II instrument, but recently increased capacity…

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

AGBT 2017, Day 1: Infectious Disease and Improved Genome Assemblies

We’re thrilled to be at the AGBT conference this week, taking place this year in Hollywood, Fla. On the first full day of the meeting, everyone’s mandatory wristbands look shiny and new (we suspect by the end of the week they’ll be as wilted as us). And we've even been getting that work/life balance down thanks to some beach volleyball with our friends from BioNano Genomics and Swift Biosciences. At the opening session on Monday, Eimear Kenny from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai showed why it’s essential to fully understand natural genetic diversity in a fascinating talk…

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Staying on Top of Long-Read Sequencing at AGBT 2017

We’re heading cross-country to the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) Meeting starting Monday in sunny Hollywood, Florida. There will be several great opportunities to learn about how scientists are using SMRT Sequencing and the Sequel System throughout the meeting, and we hope you have time to enjoy at least a few. We’ll be hosting a one-hour workshop on Wednesday, February 15th, at 3:30 pm in the Grand Ballroom. Speakers will include Calico’s Margaret Roy, sharing her experience using the Sequel System for de novo sequencing of the naked mole-rat genome; Nezih Cereb of Histogenetics, discussing high-throughput HLA Class…

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Monday, February 22, 2016

AGBT Day 4: A Better Gorilla Assembly, and Data from the Sequel System

On the final day of AGBT, attendees strapped in for the last talks of the conference before the ’80s-themed dance party to close out the meeting. Two of those talks focused on SMRT Sequencing, one including new data from our Sequel System. Christopher Hill from the Eichler lab at the University of Washington gave a fascinating talk on creating reference-grade assemblies for the great ape species. These resources will be incredibly helpful for shedding light on biological mechanisms behind speech, disease, neurological behavior, and other traits that separate us from our closest primate relatives. Current assemblies for these apes — including bonobo,…

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Friday, February 19, 2016

AGBT Day 3: Human Genomes and Their Microbial Friends

We’ve been in the genomics world long enough to remember when it was a big deal to see a great single-gene assembly or microbial genome assembly reported in an AGBT talk. It’s really something to attend this year and see some beautifully assembled whole human genomes. Several of the Friday talks really captured our interest, but we can only cover a couple of them here. NCBI’s Valerie Schneider spoke about efforts through the Genome Reference Consortium to improve assembly of the human reference genome, noting that one challenge has been the shift from a clone-based approach during the Human Genome…

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

AGBT Days 1 & 2: Metagenomic Dark Matter and the GenomeAsia 100K

This year’s AGBT presentations took our minds off how much we missed the Marco Island beach. Wednesday’s opening plenary talks ranged from the ocean virome to Ebola and beyond. David Haussler’s call for open and better sharing of human genomes was a message that clearly resonated with this community, and we hope it inspires people to find new ways of breaking down the data silos. On Thursday, the 800 or so attendees braced for a full day of scientific sessions. We can’t recap all of the talks here, but check out AGBT’s blog coverage for detailed accounts of the plenary…

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Discover the Art of SMRT Sequencing:
AGBT Kicks Off This Week

We’re packing our bags for Orlando and the 17th annual Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference! While we’ll miss the usual Marco Island setting, this year’s talks and posters look as appealing as ever. And as a meeting sponsor, we’ll be right in the thick of it — with a workshop, party, and coffee-lounge-style hospitality suite for AGBT attendees. It’s a thrill to see that more than 40 talks and posters will showcase SMRT Sequencing data, many for human biomedical research applications. Customer presentations include a talk from the National Center for Biotechnology Information on evolving approaches to…

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

AGBT Highlights, Day Three: Genomic Medicine, Population Specific Genomes, Goats & Influenza

Day 3 of the AGBT conference was packed with interesting talks - we've covered a few highlights below.  Admittedly, it took a little more caffeine than usual to power through the day..... In the clinical session, Euan Ashley from Stanford told attendees that genomic medicine is no longer something that we’re aiming for; it’s already here and being used routinely. He expressed concerns about accurate mapping of short-read sequence data for clinical utility, adding that the community needs to make progress in understanding complex genomic regions. Ashley noted that we still don’t have a gold-quality human genome with every single…

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Friday, February 27, 2015

AGBT 2015: PacBio Workshop Review & Recording

Our AGBT workshop attracted more than 500 attendees thanks to the high-profile speakers who shared their perspectives on human genomic research. Because of the exclusivity of AGBT, we decided to live-stream our workshop to reach the broader scientific community. Thanks to the the hundreds of people who tuned in to our live webcast from afar! Here are some highlights from the presentations and the recording of the workshop is at the bottom of this post. Our CEO, Mike Hunkapiller, started the session with a reflection on the 15-year anniversary of the announcements of the first human genomes, noting these efforts…

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Friday, February 27, 2015

AGBT Highlights, Day Two: Human Genomes, Variation, and the Rapidly Evolving Y Chromosome

The first full day of AGBT kicked off with a great talk from Evan Eichler from the University of Washington. Starting with the premise that characterizing genetic variation is key to understanding phenotypes, his presentation offered in-depth looks into human genome projects designed to fully represent data missed in existing assemblies and current whole genome sequencing studies. Eichler pointed out that short-read sequencing misses a lot of structural variation, particularly when it occurs near repeat-rich regions. He said that every genome sequenced with short-read technology is missing important variation, and that a big problem is our inability to quantify just…

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

AGBT Highlights, Day One: Advancing Human Reference Assembly & Sequencing in the Clinic

It is great to be here in Marco Island for the AGBT meeting! The 16th annual meeting hit the ground running with a pre-meeting workshop hosted by the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) followed by an opening session that was more clinically focused than many attendees are used to at this tech-heavy conference. From the dynamic Q&A sessions, it was clear that these were precisely the kind of talks that people have been looking for as this meeting evolves downstream along with genomic science. The GRC workshop, entitled ‘Advancing the Human Reference Assembly’ included four speakers: Valerie Schneider (NCBI), Tina Graves-Lindsay…

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AGBT 2015: Seeing the Genome in a New Light (Sunshine?)

Like many others, we’re looking forward to an exciting week of science and sun at the 16th annual Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference! We’re hosting a lunch workshop on Friday, February 27, in the Palms Ballroom from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST. We hope you can join us onsite (please reserve your seat) and even if you’re not at the conference, you can watch the live stream. Here’s the agenda: Towards Comprehensive Genomics – Past, Present and Future The Human Genome: From One to One Million J. Craig Venter, Human Longevity Inc. Is Perfect Assembly Possible?…

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Friday, March 14, 2014

AGBT 2014 Presentation Videos: SMRT Sequencing at CSHL, Uppsala U., and Baylor College of Medicine

There were several excellent talks showcasing SMRT® Sequencing data at the annual Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see them in person, you can watch the recordings: From Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Dick McCombie described the need for de novo sequencing, which preserves structural information that can be missed with resequencing. Organisms presented include yeast, Arabidopsis, and rice. McCombie notes that in many cases, full chromosomes are assembled into single contigs with long-read sequencing. He also presented the longest read seen at AGBT: more than 54 Kb. Watch video: A near perfect…

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AGBT Day 3 Highlights: Single Contigs, Dazzling Assemblers, Novel Isoforms & Honey Algorithms

Friday morning’s talks were exceptional, and included genomics heavy-hitters Dick McCombie and Gene Myers — both scientists who were truly influential in sequencing the human genome so many years ago. They have kept pushing boundaries, and their talks were fascinating. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s McCombie offered a presentation based on a late-breaking abstract showing the importance of de novo assembly — rather than resequencing, which can miss structural differences — using SMRT® Sequencing. He showed data from genome sequences of two strains of yeast (S. cerevisiae and S. pombe), both of which were generated using P5-C3 chemistry with BluePippin™ size…

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