The 2013 edition of AGBT (Advances in Genome Biology & Technology) is at its start on Marco Island. As usual it will be the main stage for announcements on new technologies and applications from the genomic community and any company working in the field.
There is excitement in the net for this new AGBT edition and a lot of words have already been spent in the various blogs about the main topics proposed in the 2013 meeting agenda. See for example posts on CoreGenomic, Omics! Omics! or MassGenomics.
Big announcements of new platforms seem missing this year, after breaking news of the past editions (do you remember Ion Proton and Oxford Nanopore?), and the whole conference is focused more on new applications than on new technology. However there still space for innovation, like the Positional sequencing presented by NabSys. According to what revealed by Keith Robison on Omics! Omics!, who have had a preview of the platform, this sysyem provides similar information to the optical mapping systems of OpGen and BioNano Genomics. However, by employing electronic detection and oligonucleotide probes to define genomic landmarks, Nabsys promise to deliver much more accurate measurements of position the possibility to tune the resolution of a map by adjusting the complexity of that probe pool. The initial application will be mainly small genome scaffolding, but the NabSys system looks promising also for structural variant detection.
Looking at the agenda there are several interesting talks:
- Eric Boerwinkle, from University of Texas, reports on CHARGE Consortium results on the use of WGS and WES together with deep phenotyping to dissect genetic basis of complex traits.
- Russ Altman, Stanford University, talks about pharmacogenomics in the NGS era, an ever-green topic.
- Christine Eng, Baylor College of Medicine, reports on their experience on Clinical Whole Exome Sequencing. See also an interesting interview with Sharon Plon of the Baylor College talking about this topic.
- In the clinical field Jonathan Berg, from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discuss the practical management of genomic incidental findings, which is a really interesting issue to be solved when managing WES clinical applications.
- There are several talks discussing new applications for single-cell DNA and RNA sequencing, with particular focus on cancer cells, and Dagan Wells, from University of Oxford, reports also about Single Cells Sequencing on Human Embryos to Reveal Aneuploidy and Mutations of the Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genomes.
- Epigenomics and data analysis are also wide covered and I want to point at an interesting talk from Gabe Rudy, Golden Helix, on the difficulties of getting Meaningful Analysis Results from genomic data. He reports the case of a trio study conducted on himself, his wife and their son using data from 23andMe.
A last curiosity, AGBT has always been innovative also in terms of communication with extensive coverage on the net (lot of participants directly report their experience on blogs, Twitter and other social networks), so this year the organizers have provided clear indication on what is "twittable" and what has to be kept secret! This is digital revolution!