Hello World! Come Take the new DNAnexus for a Test Drive

dnanexus betaToday marks the official beta launch of our new platform, and we can’t wait for you to try it out!

As our current users know, DNAnexus focuses on massively parallel, cloud-based solutions for analyzing, managing, and storing genomic data. With this beta launch of our new platform, we have a host of exciting new features and capabilities to tell you about.

The new DNAnexus has been developed with the expert analyst or bioinformatician in mind (our existing offering will now be known as DNAnexus Classic). The new DNAnexus is a secure and extensible genomics data analysis and collaboration environment designed to meet IT and compliance requirements, built for the bioinformatician in research or the clinic. If you are a bioinformatician who would like to dig into the technical side of genomics data analysis and you’re dealing with large amounts of sequence data, then this platform is for you. It is configurable, provides an ever-expanding genomics toolbox, and allows instant and secure data analysis and collaboration.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. Take advantage of a fully configurable and scriptable infrastructure through the command-line and documented APIs, SDK, and web browser.
  2. Leverage Amazon Web Services for scalable, cost-effective computing and data storage.
  3. Get started immediately by leveraging a genomics toolbox rich in industry-recognized analysis tools and datasets.
  4. Create your own custom analysis tools, filters, and workflows to run and distribute in the cloud.
  5. Visualize your genomic data via an integrated, HTML5-based genome browser.
  6. Securely share genomics data, analysis tools, and workflows.
  7. Take advantage of a system that has enterprise-grade security and has been designed for people in drug, device, or diagnostics development, as well as CLIA labs and clinical environments.
Of course, the best way to see what the new DNAnexus has to offer is by test driving it yourself. Today, we officially kick off the beta for the new DNAnexus. During this beta users may upload and analyze as much as 1 Tbyte of sequence data (which is more than enough to store and process one whole genome), create and tune workflows, check out the many available analysis tools and data sets, and much more. To sign up and create your free beta account, simply enter your email address here and we’ll contact you with details on how to get started.

JP Morgan in Review: Expect Rapid Evolution in Sequence Analysis and Big Data Needs

Last week’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference was the usual biotech extravaganza, filling downtown San Francisco with so many analysts and investors you could mistake it for Wall Street. The great thing about this event is that it serves as a platform for all of the presenting companies to lay out their plans for the new year — giving the rest of us guidance about what to expect.

jp morgan healthcare conference

Illumina, for example, announced its acquisition of Stanford spinout Moleculo, which has developed a way to generate multi-kilobase reads from sequencing-by-synthesis technologies. With Moleculo’s IP, Illumina will likely have users producing very long sequence reads in the first half of this year, though currently most existing assemblers and other sequence analysis algorithms have been optimized for much shorter reads. If this long-read technology performs as advertised, we anticipate a flurry of activity as developers tweak their aligners and assemblers to make the most of these multi-kilobase reads.

In applied markets, Illumina acquired prenatal testing firm Verinata Health, and Life Technologies announced the formation of Claritas Genomics, a joint venture with Boston Children’s Hospital to develop diagnostics for the Ion Torrent sequencing platform. With these moves, both companies continue their march on the clinical market — giving us even more certainty about the need for sequence analysis and interpretation tools that will fit the requirements of users in clinical labs. These downstream users will be best served with simple but highly customized tools that match their specific environment, tasks, confidentiality mandates, and other attributes.

In general trends, the focus on big data was inescapable at JP Morgan, and served as a particular highlight of a breakfast panel hosted by FierceBiotech. No longer just the concern of chief information officers, big data is seen as equal parts opportunity and pitfall in the biomedical and healthcare field. Lon Cardon from GlaxoSmithKline encouraged people to think of it as good science rather than just “big data.” Meanwhile, John Reynders from AstraZeneca noted that the value of big data lies in the human element — that is, how we query it and what we’re looking for.

Back at DNAnexus headquarters, where we’re putting the finishing touches on our new platform to enable people to make the most of big data, the observations from JP Morgan offer nice validation of the path we’ve been planning. Our new platform has been designed for flexibility, giving users control over which algorithms best fit their data — whether those data sets are small or large in size, based on short-read or long-read sequence, and more. And with the growing use of sequencing in the clinical realm, we have worked hard to make sure the new platform will be a good fit for users who must comply with HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. Check back with us often, and we’ll keep you posted as we get the new platform ready for its debut!

Need a Lucky Break? DNAnexus Is Giving Away a 4-Day AGBT Badge

agbt 2013 meetingIt’s hard to believe January has already arrived — and that means scientists throughout the genomics community have their eyes on next month’s Advances in Genome Biology & Technology (AGBT) meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

For some people, that entails booking flights and checking the sunblock supply. For others, though, the next few weeks will be spent in a last-ditch effort to get into the wildly oversubscribed conference. If you’re one of those people, we have an opportunity for you: join our contest to win a prepaid AGBT badge.

AGBT is far and away one of the most important scientific meetings of the year, and DNAnexus is proud to be among the sponsors this year. We are honored to be supporting an event that has consistently maintained high standards for scientific talks, posters, and social events for more than a decade.

agbt marco island marriott
(Source: Marco Island Marriott)

As a sponsor of the conference, we are able to purchase a full, four-night registration — but instead of giving it to one of our employees, we are instead choosing to give it away to a deserving scientist who has no other chance to attend this meeting. This giveaway is not tied to what we do and has no strings attached from DNAnexus; it’s just an opportunity for us to recognize someone for truly innovative and compelling research.

Any scientist working at a university or other research institution may enter. Simply send a short note from your workplace email to agbt13@dnanexus.com with the following information:

  1. Name and mailing address
  2. Brief description of your research (no more than 400 words)
  3. A sentence or two on why you should be selected to attend the conference

Deadline for submissions: January 23. The entries will be judged by our founders: Andreas Sundquist, Arend Sidow, and Serafim Batzoglou. The winner will be informed by January 25 and publicly announced in February. Stay tuned and connect with us socially (Twitter, Google+, etc.) to find out who wins and what we’ll have in store at AGBT.

And if you’ve already gotten your AGBT badge, please let your colleagues who weren’t so lucky know about this contest. We’re looking forward to spending four days in Florida listening to the best genomics research going on — and we can’t wait to help a lucky scientist come too!

The fine print: Award includes a full conference badge and four nights of lodging. The winner is responsible for transportation to and from the meeting and all other expenses. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest is not open to DNAnexus employees or consultants. Applicants must be over the age of 18. This contest is not affiliated with or sponsored by the AGBT conference.