The Genome Analysis Centre in Norfolk led a training workshop with European partner SeqAhead, Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action, which aims to comprehend Next Generation Sequence (NGS) data and galvanise efficient workflows for NGS data storage, retrieval and analysis.
With 70 stakeholders from 28 countries, the three-day meeting explored the state-of-the-art in NGS data analysis, its current challenges and applications.
Dr Ana Conesa from the Prince Felipe Research Centre (Spain) and Aleksandra Pawlik from the Software Sustainability Institute (UK) chaired presentations from leading international scientists, covering data analysis and management, bioinformatics training, functional and pathogen genomics. The SeqAhead Management Committee meeting concluded the event, led by Chairman, Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, and Vice-Chair, Terri Attwood.
The SeqAhead - COST Action aims to develop a coordinated action plan for the scientific community to assist with the rise of NGS data, using state-of-the-art bioinformatics.
Establishment of a strong European network of NGS Institutes, data-analysis and informatics, will facilitate and stimulate the exchange of data, protocols, software, experiences and ideas.
Distributing this knowledge and expertise via combined education and publication programs, such as TGAC’s workshop, unites bioinformaticians, computer scientists and biomedical scientists, harnessing their expertise to bring NGS data management and analysis to new levels of efficiency and integration.
NGS technologies use high-throughput approaches that parallelise the sequencing process, producing thousands or millions of concurrent DNA sequences.
Producing data on an unprecedented scale, these techniques are now driving the generation of knowledge to new dimensions. The large data volumes being generated by these new technologies require new data-handling and storage methods, creating an urgent need in the life science community for new and improved approaches to facilitate NGS data management and analysis.
Vicky Schneider, Head of 361° Division (Scientific Training, Education & Learning), said: “Organising and hosting the SeqAhead Scientific Meeting and AGM at TGAC was a great opportunity to meet key scientists working in a variety of aspects in NGS, from more than 25 countries. We're looking forward to hosting the SeqAhead training on NGS for plant scientists later this year.”
Prof. Erik Bongcam-Rudloff from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden and Chair of SeqAhead, added: “A single small sequencer, no bigger than a desktop computer, can now produce more data per day than previously produced by all sequencing projects worldwide, from the start of Sanger sequencing in 1980 to the year 2000.
“These massive volumes of data require new data handling and storage methods, and experts need to continuously meet to discuss the progress in this ‘moving target’ field. The COST Action SeqAhead meeting organised at TGAC is an important contribution to this endeavour.”