Saturday, June 22, 2013


News from BGI Cognitive Genomics.
31 May 2013: We have started the process of returning genetic data to our first round of volunteers. Everyone who was sequenced will be contacted within the next few weeks.

We are also starting public testing of our new bioinformatics tool: WDIST, an increasingly complete rewrite of PLINK designed for tomorrow's large datasets, developed by Christopher Chang with support from the NIH-NIDDK's Laboratory of Biological Modeling and others. It uses a streaming strategy to reduce memory requirements, and executes many of PLINK's slowest functions, including identity-by-state/identity-by-descent computation, LD-based pruning of marker sets, and association analysis max(T) permutation tests, over 100x (and sometimes even over 1000x) as quickly. Some newer calculations, such as the GCTA relationship matrix, are also supported. We have developed several novel algorithms, including a fast Fisher's exact test (2x2/2x3) which comfortably handles contingency tables with entries in the millions (try our browser demo!). Software engineers can see more details on our WDIST core algorithms page, and download the GPLv3 source code from our GitHub repository.

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