latest news & announcements

(in Dutch) Epigenetica: Sperma bevat informatie over gewicht van de man

Beluister het Radio1 interview met BIG N2N partner Prof. Tim De Meyer:

Kinderen van zwaarlijvige vaders lopen meer kans om zelf ook zwaarlijvig te worden. Nogal wiedes, zal u zeggen. Obesitas zit deels in de genen, en als vader teveel calorieën naar binnen werkt en weinig beweegt, is de kans groot dat de kinderen daar een voorbeeld aan nemen.

Open-Source, Platform-Independent Library and Online Scripting Environment for Accessing Thermo Scientific RAW Files

Mass spectrometers typically output data in proprietary binary formats. While converter suites and standardized XML formats have been developed in response, these conversion steps come with non-negligible computational time and storage space overhead. As a result, simple, everyday data inspection tasks are often beyond the skills of the mass spectrometrist, who is unable to freely access the acquired data.

QQ-SNV: single nucleotide variant detection at low frequency by comparing the quality quantiles

Background: Next generation sequencing enables studying heterogeneous populations of viral infections. When the sequencing is done at high coverage depth ("deep sequencing"), low frequency variants can be detected. Here we present QQ-SNV (, a logistic regression classifier model developed for the Illumina sequencing platforms that uses the quantiles of the quality scores, to distinguish true single nucleotide variants from sequencing errors based on the estimated SNV probability.

ELIXIR welcomes Belgium among its members

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Belgium is the latest country to join ELIXIR, following the signature of the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement by the Secretary of State for Science Policy, Elke Sleurs, and its approval by the ELIXIR Board.

Led by the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, VIB), the Belgian ELIXIR Node is composed of seven universities and five research centres: Universities of Ghent, Leuven, Antwerp, Hasselt, Liège, Brussels (VUB and ULB), VIB, IMEC, ExaScience Life Lab, GIGA, and the Cyclotron Research Centre.

Current and New Approaches in GMO Detection: Challenges and Solutions

In many countries, genetically modified organisms (GMO )legislations have been established in order to guarantee the traceability of food/feed products on the market and to protect the consumer freedom of choice. Therefore, several GMO detection strategies, mainly based on DNA, have been developed to implement these legislations. Due to its numerous advantages, the quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for the enforcement laboratories in GMO routine analysis.

Jabba: Hybrid Error Correction for Long Sequencing Reads Using Maximal Exact Matches

Third generation sequencing platforms produce longer reads with higher error rates than second generation sequencing technologies. While the improved read length can provide useful information for downstream analysis, underlying algorithms are challenged by the high error rate. Error correction methods in which accurate short reads are used to correct noisy long reads appear to be attractive to generate high-quality long reads. Methods that align short reads to long reads do not optimally use the information contained in the second generation data, and suffer from large runtimes.

Colonic metaproteomic signatures of active bacteria and the host in obesity

Obesity is associated with the intestinal microbiota in humans but the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully understood. Our previous phylogenetic study showed that the faecal microbiota profiles of nonobese versus obese and morbidly obese individuals differed. Here, we have extended this analysis with a characterization of the faecal metaproteome, in order to detect differences at a functional level. Proteins were extracted from crude faecal samples of 29 subjects, separated by 1D gel electrophoresis and characterized using RP LC–MS/MS.