Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

To Solve Short Read Problem, Danes Launch Network for Data Analysis


While next-generation sequencing technology continues to push the high-throughput envelope, handling the landslide of data remains a persistent problem. Resourceful researchers have no trouble developing tailor-made tools to deal with the data deluge, but the distribution of such applications to the wider research community is often marred by the fact that not all labs use the same sequencing platforms.

In order to address this challenge, the Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation recently announced a $3 million grant to support a collaborative network of Danish research institutions called Seqnet. The three-year initiative aims to support the development of a national, user-friendly graphical interface platform for the analysis of next-generation sequencing data. Seqnet will be a team effort among the University of Copenhagen, the Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University, Aalborg University Hospital, and the University of Southern Denmark, with Danish bioinformatics vendor CLC bio.

"There is a need to make a unified, next-generation sequencing platform capable of analyzing sequences for many purposes, regardless of whatever platforms they are coming from because each has their own software tied to that particular sequencer," says Kare Lehmann Nielsen, leader of the Seqnet project and an associate professor at Aalborg University. "We are already in the process of writing small scripts, but lack the capability to develop them in a user-friendly manner and make them easily distributable between labs because they are complicated, command-line based, and very specialized."

The platform will be tested in various research projects, such as metagenome analysis of bacterial systems taken from waste water treatment facilities, cancer cell typing, and tag-based expression. "We realized very early on that you had to develop your own applications or else rely on the slow development of comprehensive tools. … There is not nearly good enough software analysis for gene expression profiling," says Nielsen, who works on tag-based gene expression. "It is really important to do the visualization of the data in a way that is interpretable to regular users." Seqnet aims to eventually deploy a bioinformatics package with a slew of algorithms ported to CLC's workbench platform.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.