Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New features and a new Portal released at ASHG

The Knowledge Portal team is back at work after a fantastic week at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting. We had many great conversations with researchers at our exhibit booth and at the Broad Institute exhibit booth, where we had a couple of guest spots. This year, we also held a workshop session on the Knowledge Portal Network and the Diabetes Epigenome Atlas (DGA), and about 80 people came to learn the basics of navigating the Knowledge Portals and the DGA. We were asked to provide the slides from that session, and they can be viewed here, but please note that they may not be easy to interpret without the accompanying oral presentation. We are working on creating both instructional webinars and short videos explaining different aspects of the Portals; stay tuned! And in the meantime, please contact us with any questions--we're here to help.

Part of the Knowledge Portal Network team at our ASHG booth

As usual, we released a number of new features on the Type 2 Diabetes Knowledge Portal in time for the ASHG meeting:

Calculated credible sets

Credible sets are useful because they assign to individual variants in a locus a probability of being causal for a phenotype. On Gene Pages (see an example), when viewing the type 2 diabetes phenotype, the Credible sets tab displays credible sets generated and published by Mahajan et al. (2018). However, credible sets have not been generated by researchers for phenotypes in the T2DKP other than T2D.

Now, the T2DKP provides calculated credible sets for all phenotypes. When viewing a phenotype other than T2D on the Gene page, the Credible sets tab is replaced by a Calculated credible set tab. This LocusZoom module, developed by our AMP T2D partners at the University of Michigan, automatically calculates posterior probabilities from p-values. Calculated credible sets include up to 10 variants; the credible interval covered by the set may vary, depending on the strength of associations across the region.

UK Biobank PheWAS

Recently, we added to the T2DKP another LocusZoom module for displaying phenome-wide associations. The PheWAS display, showing associations for a variant across all of the phenotypes included in the T2DKP, is the default visualization in the "Associations at a glance" section of Variant pages (see an example). Now, by checking the "Use UKBB data" box, you can view associations for a variant across about 1,400 UK Biobank phenotypes from an analysis performed by our AMP T2D partners at the University of Michigan.

New LocusZoom visualization shows variant associations across UK Biobank phenotypes

Forest plot visualization of variant associations

We also provide yet another LocusZoom visualization on a separate tab of the "Associations at a glance" section of the Variant page. The Forest plot is an alternative way to visualize phenotypic associations for a variant. In addition to displaying the significance of associations, the Forest plot also shows the direction of effect and the confidence interval for variant associations.

Forest plot on the Variant page

Genetic Risk Score module

The T2DKP now includes an initial version of the Genetic Risk Score module.  This is an instantiation of the same custom burden test that is found on Gene pages, but instead of using as input a set of variants across a gene, the module uses a set of 243 variants identified by Mahajan et al. (2018) that are significantly associated with T2D risk. The module draws on 9 different datasets, including 3 housed at the Broad Data Coordinating Center and 6 housed at the T2DKP Federated node at EBI. Just like the burden test, it allows you to choose a phenotype for analysis, adjust the set of variants if desired, filter the sample set by many criteria, and set custom covariates before running the analysis. The results obtained from this module can potentially reveal genetic relationships between phenotypes. The module is still under development, and we would appreciate your feedback on it!

New Knowledge Portal added to the network

At the ASHG meeting we unveiled the newest member of the Knowledge Portal Network: the Sleep Disorder Knowledge Portal (SDKP),  for the genetics of sleep and circadian traits. There is currently one dataset for sleep genetic associations in the SDKP, "UK Biobank Sleep Traits GWAS," which includes chronotype, sleep duration, insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and nap traits. Additional association datasets are available for type 2 diabetes and glycemic traits, anthropometric traits, measures of kidney function, and psychiatric traits, and more sleep data will be added soon.

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