San Diego Festival of Genomics Summary

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On 20th-21st September, BlueBee exhibited at the Festival of Genomics in the beautiful city of San Diego, California.

According to the mayor of San Diego, this city is becoming the Genomics Capital of the World, since it is hosting a growing number of biotech companies, currently about 800. Hence, San Diego was the ideal location to host the Festival.

At our booth, we demoed the BlueBee platform. The platform does not require any special setup or hardware installation; it can be easily set to run from any computer connected to the internet, thanks to our private-cloud infrastructure. Our experts shared insights on how the BlueBee platform enables clinical and research labs to efficiently scale up their genomic analysis at an affordable cost, and how we compare to alternatives.

Interested to find out for yourself? Then please submit a request for a demo.

The Festival attracted just over a thousand delegates, fifty-five exhibitors and four theater halls, which hosted parallel sessions on key topics affecting genomics: genomics medicine, cancer genomics, enabling data, transcriptomics, genome editing, data sharing, and more.

During our first day, we had the Front Line Genomics team filming a video interview with our CEO, Hans Cobben, who shared how we help our customers and what our future plans are for BlueBee. On day two, we announced our new partnership with GATC Biotech, a leading sequencing provider. BlueBee will support GATC’s large-scale services to run their most demanding WGS workflows.

Later during the second day of the Festival, Hans Cobben, together with Lucila Ohno-Machado, Matt Rasmussen and Steve Lincoln, took part in an animated debate in the panel discussion, led by senior executive and board member of GA4GH, Peter Goodhand. The panel, titled “Genomic data sharing: privacy, competition and cooperation”, addressed the importance of having as much data and metadata as possible to help generate meaningful results, the importance of the underlying technology that can sustain the data-tsunami, and the collaborations needed between involved parties: the patient, the sequencing labs, research centers and medical doctors. Sharing access to patient data between key parties is essential, especially if the data is de-centralized due to national legislation, or just the different geographical locations of the sequencing labs and patient’s homes. It was concluded that regulations need to be defined further: who owns the de-identified patient-data, and how easily it is accessible by the patients themselves, as well as by third parties for future analysis. The main driver, shared during the discussion was the fact that some diagnostic labs analyze the patient’s data and leave it in their databases without looking into it further or sharing it. Rare disease patients who have experienced this ended up using Facebook as a source of knowledge to help them ask the social community if they know anybody with similar symptoms and who can help.

Technology enablers who help drive the research further are available and rapidly used. BlueBee is nicely positioned, as we provide the platform that runs on the cloud and infuses transparent science with the latest techniques to enable collaboration and data control. It was good to hear that many institutions, clinical labs and research centers, regardless of their powerful in-house infrastructure, are looking into the flexibility that the cloud provides.

A seminar about Artificial Intelligence highlighted new ways of generating intelligence into the growing patient data and its capabilities, from predicting illnesses to understanding the growth of cancer and monitoring well-being. Other talks at the festival discussed the motives for people to take personal genome sequencing and the lessons learned from a healthy genome.

Recorded sessions should be available to view soon by Front Line Genomics. We definitely want to revisit some of them!