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Don’t Panic, the Best Bioinformatics Solution is Included

Rupert Yip
| Oct 01, 2012

The MiSeq Grant Program is the first award of its kind to include not only the instrument and kits to generate sequencing data, but also the informatics infrastructure to analyze and manage your data.

data analysis ss 01 thumbOne of the biggest challenges with NGS is the so-called data analysis bottleneck. Biologists sometimes struggle  with NGS data, often worrying about a lack of specialized bioinformatics expertise. After acquiring a decade or so of training, scientists and physicians should not be required to undergo additional computer science training in order to do their research!  We at Illumina agree, and have bundled the MiSeq Grant award with powerful bioinformatics tools that are biologist-friendly. First, the MiSeq instrument comes with powerful bioinformatics built into the instrument itself. There is no need to buy additional compute hardware or software to generate meaningful biological data. We have a true “push button” bioinformatics workflow to support most sequencing needs, including general resequencing, targeted amplicon resequencing, small RNA, 16S metagenomics, and de novo assembly of microorganism genomes. No specialized bioinformatics training is required to install and tweak these algorithms in order to generate a report. 

Built into every MiSeq instrument, is BaseSpace, Illumina’s genomics cloud platform, housing your data in a personal and secure account. Once up there, your data will be automatically analyzed and presented to you via a web browser available anywhere, anytime, from the moment your MiSeq run has completed. In the coming months, both commercial and academic bioinformatics partners will make even more bioinformatics tools available through the BaseSpace App Store. The premise is simple– making validated tools from bioinformatics leaders (such as the Broad Institute, Washington University, as well as commercial developers) widely available, so that scientists all over the world don’t need to replicate complex bioinformatics infrastructure to gain world-class expertise.

BaseSpace addresses another key challenge with adopting NGS: the sheer size of the data generated. Scientists have to consider the cost of computer storage, not to mention the burden of manually transferring data to collaborators. With BaseSpace, all your data is stored in the limitless capacity of the cloud, eliminating the need to build out or expand your compute storage infrastructure. You can even share your data with colleagues anywhere in the world instantly. Gone are the days of manually transferring data to hard drives, then packing and shipping these across the globe. Simply email your collaborators a link to the data and they’ll have instant access. This makes collaboration infinitely easier and faster, which is critical for time-sensitive experiments like outbreaks.

We have also partnered with Strand Life Sciences to include a license for Avadis NGS software, a powerful desktop bioinformatics software package in the MiSeq Grant award. With Avadis NGS, you can quickly QC and analyze data for your RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, amplicon sequencing, and small RNA projects. We also chose Avadis NGS because of its biologist-friendly user interface and its cross-platform compatibility (works with Windows, Mac, and Linux). 

The MiSeq Grant really is a complete package with the biologist in mind. And it’s fitting that winning access to sequencing’s easiest sample prep and instrument will also include the most comprehensive and convenient bioinformatics solution. At only 500 words or less, it’s likely the easiest grant of your career to apply for. Hurry, there are only two weeks left…