Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques allow high-throughput detection of a vast amount of variations in a cost-efficient manner. However, there still are inconsistencies and debates about how to process and analyse this ‘big data’. To accurately extract clinically relevant information from genomics data, choosing appropriate tools, knowing how to best utilize them and interpreting the results correctly is crucial. This chapter reviews state-of-the-art bioinformatics approaches in clinically relevant genomic variant detection. Best practices of reads-to-variant discovery workflows for germline and somatic short genomic variants are presented along with the most commonly utilized tools for each step. Additionally, methods for detecting structural variations are overviewed. Finally, approaches and current guidelines for clinical interpretation of genomic variants are discussed. As emphasized in this chapter, data processing and variant discovery steps are relatively well-understood. The differences in prioritization algorithms on the other hand can be perplexing, thus creating a bottleneck during interpretation. This review aims to shed light on the pros and cons of these differences to help experts give more informed decisions.
In recent years, next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms that facilitate generation of a vast amount of genomic variation data have become widely used for diagnostic purposes in medicine. However, identifying the potential effects of the variations and their association with a particular disease phenotype is the main challenge in this field. Several strategies are used to discover the causative mutations among hundreds of variants of uncertain significance. Incorporating information from healthy population databases, other organisms’ databases, and computational prediction tools are evolution-based strategies that give valuable insight to interpret the variant pathogenicity. In this chapter, we first provide an overview of NGS analysis workflow. Then, we review how evolutionary principles can be integrated into the prioritization schemes of analyzed variants. Finally, we present an example of a real-life case where the use of evolutionary genetics information facilitated the discovery of disease-causing variants in medical genomics.
Part of the book: Methods in Molecular Medicine