Top Computational Biologists Hack Disease Discovery Tool

A child is born in a hospital and has a life-threatening illness that appears to be genetic in nature, but none of the attending physicians can figure out what it is. With a software tool called the Variant Annotation, Analysis and Search Tool (VAAST), arriving at a diagnosis may become as simple as performing a Google search.

The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative’s (USTAR) Center for Genetic Discovery hosted a weeklong hackathon for VAAST developers to expand the features and usability of the VAAST tool. The hackers searched out the tool's weaknesses, and hashed out improvements at all stages of the VAAST pipeline that starts at the clinic with a sick patient and ends with a diagnosis treatment plan.

Read more about the hackathon.

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