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There are a number of genetics and genomics initiatives underway in Australia, including the Australian node of the Human Variome Project (HVPA), as well as many active research collaborations including familial cancer, endocrine disease, and developmental delay. Most of these projects work with disease-specific databases on a research basis, with the risk that such archives may be ephemeral. HVPA is the only database that is directly integrated with accredited clinical reporting of variants. As such it is designed to capture variants that have passed scrutiny as diagnostically robust, and have therefore already been curated by qualified staff. Registered users access the HVPA database via a secure Internet portal.
I will describe three recent developments of the HVPA database and portal: the upgraded search interface, linkage to other datasets via BioGrid using hash-based de-identified case matching, and the introduction of a genome wide database using LOVD3. Finally I will discuss the future direction of the HVPA and the questions of utility, quality control and sustainability of genetic variation databases.
The search interface has to provide useful tools for clinicians and lab scientists so that the HPVA project offers them direct benefits and incentivises them to participate. Following a request for feedback from users, a series of improvements were implemented, initially on a demonstration server and then on the live server following review by the Steering Committee. The highest priorities were for more information about numbers of times particular variants were
recorded, the ability to search by range and to filter by pathogenicity. There was also interest in enabling direct uploading of VCF files and the automated calculation of pathogenicity scores. Many of these features are now implemented and examples will be presented.
Linkage to other datasets
We have implemented the hash key algorithm and work is in progress with BioGrid to link variation data to clinical data sets.
Genome wide database
We have established an HVPA LOVD3 database and are working with the Human Genetics Society of Australasia on a pilot study to sequence the exomes of two trios and review the data using this database.
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