Structural Variant Hackathon

NCBI is pleased to announce a Structural Variant Hackathon at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas, immediately before ASHG on October 11-13, 2019.

We’re specifically looking for folks who have experience in working with structural variants, complex disease, precision medicine, and similar genomic analysis.  If this describes you, please apply! This event is for researchers, including students and postdocs, who are already engaged in the use of bioinformatics data or in the development of pipelines for large scale genomic analyses from high-throughput experiments (please note that the event itself will focus on open access public human data).

Potential topics include:

  • Mapping structural variants to public databases
  • Calculating the heritability of different types of structural variants
  • CNV effect on isoform expression
  • Assembly accuracy for metagenomics
  • Quality assessment in large cohorts

The hackathon runs from 9 am – 6 pm each day, with the potential to extend into the evening hours each day. There will also be optional social events at the end of each day. Working groups of five to six individuals, with various backgrounds and expertise, will be formed into five to eight teams with an experienced leader. These teams will build pipelines and tools to analyze large datasets within a cloud infrastructure. Each day, we will come together to discuss progress on each of the topics, bioinformatics best practices, coding styles, etc.

There will be no registration fee associated with attending this event.

Note: Participants will need to bring their own laptop to this program. No financial support for travel, lodging, or meals is available for this event.

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ClinVar’s new XML aggregated by Variation ID

Now it’s easier than ever to access all data in ClinVar for a variant or set of variants across all reported diseases.  ClinVar’s new XML is organized by variant only (Variation ID), instead of the variant-disease pair. This reduces redundancy, for example in cases where a variant is related to several disease concepts, and makes the XML consistent with the ClinVar web pages. You can get ClinVarVariationRelease XML from the /xml/clinvar_variation/ directory on the ClinVar FTP site.  New features in ClinVarVariationRelease XML shown in Figure 1 include:

  • Explicit elements to distinguish between variants that were directly interpreted and “included” variants, those that were interpreted only as part of a Haplotype or Genotype. The clinical significance for included variants is indicated as “no interpretation for the single variant”.
  • Explicit elements to distinguish records for simple allele,  haplotypes, and genotypes
  • The Replaces element that provides a history and indicates accessions that were merged into the current accession.
  • A section that  maps the submitted name or identifier for the interpreted condition to the corresponding name used in ClinVar and the MedGen Concept Identifier (CUI)

ClinVarXML_markupFigure 1.  ClinVar variant-centric XML showing a variant record for a haplotype (VCV000236230) that comprises two included variations (SimpleAlleles) that are marked as “no interpretation for the single variant”.  The record includes all the condition records (RCVList) with names and identifiers from MedGen, OMIM and other sources.

To learn more about how to use this data, read our documentation.

Tell us how ClinVar has helped you by writing to us at

September 11 Webinar: A beginner’s guide to genes and sequences at NCBI

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 12 PM, NCBI staff will present a webinar for people with limited experience working with gene and sequence information. You will learn about the kinds of data available for genes and sequences, how to select the most informative records, and how to find related genes and sequences using pre-computed information and the BLAST sequence search service.

  • Date and time: Wed, Sep 11, 2019 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT
  • Register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the webinar. A few days after the live presentation, you can view the recording on the NCBI YouTube channel. You can learn about future webinars on the Webinars and Courses page.