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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genetic Variation, Comparative Genomics, and the Diagnosis of Disease.

The discovery of mutations associated with human genetic dis- ease is an exercise in comparative genomics (see Glossary). Although there are many different strategies and approaches, the central premise is that affected persons harbor a significant excess of pathogenic DNA variants as com- pared with a group of unaffected persons (controls) that is either clinically defined1 or established by surveying large swaths of the general population.2 The more exclu- sive the variant is to the disease, the greater its penetrance, the larger its effect size, and the more relevant it becomes to both disease diagnosis and future therapeutic investigation. The…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Podcast: Going beyond the $1,000 genome with Mark Gerstein

Mark Gerstein is the co-director of the Yale Computational Biology and Bioinformatics program where he focuses on better annotation of the human genome and better ways to mine big genomics data. He has played a big role in some of the large genomics initiatives since the first human genome project, including ENCODE and the 1,000 Genomes Project. “I’m very enthusiastic, of course, about the thousand dollar genome, but I don’t think that a true human genome has arrived for a thousand dollars,” Mark says at the outset of this Mendelspod interview. “The great excitement of next generation sequencing—which is deserved—has…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Addressing hidden heritability through long-read Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing – Introduction to ASHG Workshop

Mike Hunkapiller, CEO of Pacific Biosciences, opened the PacBio 2015 ASHG Workshop with a historical perspective of human genome sequencing, starting with the Human Genome Project. While advances have been made in technology, throughput and cost reductions, the quality of genomes hasn’t kept pace with decreases in cost. Hunkapiller shared the news of the company’s launch of the Sequel System – which offers SMRT Sequencing and long reads at seven times greater throughput over the PacBio RS II and roughly half the cost, making it feasible to use the system for de novo assembly of high-quality human genomes. He also…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Podcast: We’re over halfway there: Baylor’s Richard Gibbs on clinical genetics

In this podcast, Gibbs shares his perspective on the complementary roles genomics and genetics plays in driving our understanding of human biology. Richard says that the Human genome project was actually a departure from had been typical in the field of human genetics. He notes, “there really was this departure between human genetics and genomics for a decade and a half or more, really because of the demands of doing the genome project there was too much to do to stop and think about some of these more fundamental problems in genetics.” Gibbs observes that we have now entered a…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Improving the goat long-read assembly with optical mapping and Hi-C scaffolding

Reference genome assemblies provide important context in genetics by standardizing the order of genes and providing a universal set of coordinates for individual nucleotides. Often due to the high complexity of genic regions and higher copy number of genes involved in immune function, immunity-related genes are often misassembled in current reference assemblies. This problem is particularly ubiquitous in the reference genomes of non-model organisms as they often do not receive the years of curation necessary to resolve annotation and assembly errors. In this study, we reassemble a reference genome of the goat (Capra hircus) using modern PacBio technology in tandem…

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