A look back at the Leuven NGS bioinformatics meeting

Program completed. On Sunday, we finished our EuroEPINOMICS next generation sequencing (NGS) bioinformatics meeting. After working through the command line, running scripts, and staring at black screens with white cursors, we completed our four day course by looking at the more user friendly, web-based tools that the NGS world has to offer, including Galaxy, Varbank, and Ingenuity. I think it was the general consensus among the participants that this was the bioinformatics meeting that we needed in order to understand the data that we generate and deal with on day-to-day basis. These were my favorite sound bites of our meeting. Continue reading

Exploring samtools – Green Eggs and Ham (*.bam)

That Sam I Am.  The entire field of high-throughput genomics appears to be inspired by the American children’s book author Dr. Seuss. Given that we are currently reading through the original books almost on a daily basis due to the presence of a toddler in our home, mentioning *.sam files, *.bam files or sam2bam routines always makes me smile. However, this is not a post about children’s books; it’s about a likely 2013 trend in genomic research, the redefinition of the boundary between genome center and end user and the laptopification of life sciences. Continue reading

Exome shock with acute in-house deficiency

Sleep disturbances, double vision, writer’s cramp. As some of you might recall, I was not fully conscious during our Young Investigator’s meeting two weeks ago, spending most of the time in a haze either hacking random commands into my laptop with sweaty palms or desperately trying to communicate with my neighbor in Unix, Perl or Loglan. Ever since then, people have remarked that I have lost weight and that I haven’t smiled since. What has gotten a hold of me? It all started out with a small, innocent hard drive that made its way from Antwerp to Kiel. Continue reading