Wednesday, June 02, 2021
I proposed last year that there should be a regular racing event for human genomics. The only real competitor in is this interesting race seems to be Steven Kingsmore's group at Rady Children's Hospital. I was sent an embargoed press release from Illumina about a new record by that group, which clocks in at 13.5 hours from patient sample to clinical report. A New England Journal of Medicine paper (hence the embargo, ending just before I post this) reports on the advance but wasn't in the packet I received.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Yesterday was Matt Meselson's 91st birthday. I have only met him a few times and he wouldn't know me from Adam, but he is a particularly interesting individual I've had the good fortune to converse with. I'm putting out a plea now for a skilled biographer to write his life, because it certainly has been an interesting and impactful one, with scientific work stretching from the early beginnings of molecular genetics to a preprint just recently posted on BioRxiv.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
The title really says it -- London Calling has actually already begun and here I am pretending to write a "before the conference" piece. Of course, since everything is virtual again this year I can actually do this since I haven't watched anything yet nor have seen any tweets -- and the big technology announcement section isn't for a few hours so I have loads of time to write! Sadly, nor have I gone and looked at what I've written before. Nor have I defended these two days very well - my schedule is cluttered with meetings and appointments. So I haven't prepared in any way, shape or form -- but here goes some thoughts.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
The GISAID database has been the workhorse for storing and distributing SARS-CoV-2 sequences during the COVID-19 pandemic and recently passed one million entries. There was some Twitter chatter wondering about the hardware breakdown for this, as it isn't really easy to get out of GISAID. I had done a somewhat arduous partial take at this for my VIB talk last month, but in the meantime GISAID had granted me some additional access to metadata which I've been too busy to tackle. But knowing some others were curious, time to dive back in.
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
More spatial profiling news coming in from AGBT -- Harvard spin-out VizGen is launching in the U.S. an instrument implementing MERFISH technology. This sub-$300K instrument will initially enable panels of up to 500 genes to be profiled, with plans to expand that capacity to 1000. Users either pick from a menu of pre-designed panels or select genes using a Gene Panel Design Tool and VizGen would proceed to manufacturing the panel in around two weeks. VizGen CEO Terry Lo and Senior Director of Marketing Brittany Auclair were kind enough to give me a preview last Friday.
Monday, March 01, 2021
Rant is ON! I've been having an utterly miserable experience with the LabRoots conference software that AGBT is using for their virtual meeting. This year has exposed many of us to a wide variety of teleconference and virtual meeting software and many of the glitches are small and hard to pin down. Or matters of personal preference (though if you don't share mine, you are simply wrong!). But now on two major platforms I've come across major issues with LabRoots
My prediction that spatial would be a hot topic at AGBT was easy to make knowing I was sitting on embargoed news in the spatial space. This morning Rebus Biosystems announced the launch of the Rebus Esper system for wide field spatial profiling of gene panels with subcellular resolution. Rebus is promising that this instrument will offer true walkaway automation from fluidics through imaging, and data processing, requiring only one hour of hands-on time.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
I'll call it now -- the big buzz at this year's AGBT will be around spatial profiling. Trust me, it's not just a hunch. The two current players in the field -- nanoString and 10X Genomics -- both have significant presence in the virtual conference. Don't be surprised to see more players on the field -- just sayin'