Back from the dead…time for a new JABBA award!

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I really wasn't intending to hand out any more JABBA awards. The last time I gave out an award for a bogus bioinformatics acronym was back in February 2016 and that was meant to be that.

However, I recently saw something that sent a shiver down my spine and I felt obliged to dust off the JABBA award one more time (for now anyway).

Let's get straight to the point. Published in bioarXiv is a new preprint:

Now don't get me wrong, I love burritos and I think it's kind of a fun name for a piece of software. I just happen to think that in this case it is a somewhat tenuous acronym. So how do you get to make BURRITO the name of your tool?

Browser Utility for Relating micRobiome Information on Taxonomy and functiOn

It's the inclusion of 'O' from 'functiOn' that gets me.I guess 'BURMITF' didn't have such a good ring to it.

What else is on the menu?

Note that BURRITO shouldn't be confused with the QIIME application controller code called burrito-fillings or the electronic lab notebook software for computational researchers known as Burrito.

Also, you get bonus points if you can use BURRITO with SALSA. Of course, if BURRITO doesn't work out for you, then maybe try TACO or…er, TACO.

How and why the Institute of Cancer Research are using their new Illumina NovaSeq

Image credit: The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Image credit: The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Yesterday, the The Institute of Cancer Researchdisclaimer: that's where I work — published a new blog post where they spoke to Nik Matthews, Genomics Manager in the ICR’s Tumour Profiling Unit, about the Illumina NovaSeq sequencing platform.

It's a little more technical than some of the ICR 'Science Talk' blog posts that we usually publish which is why I thought I'd link to it here.

As someone who was started their PhD around the time the yeast genome was being finished I still am shocked by how far the world of DNA sequencing has come. This is something Nik refers to in his opening answer:

We can now produce data equivalent to the size of the original human genome project every six minutes, which is astonishing.

By comparison, the yeast genome project — an international collaboration involving many different labs — took over five years to sequence its genome…all 12 Mbp of it! Read the full blog post to find out more about how, and why, the ICR adopted the NovaSeq platform:

Bioinformatics blogs

I was surprised to see this blog featured in a recent list of the Top 75 Bioinformatics Blogs and Websites for Bioinformaticians.

Any list that includes this blog — which I barely ever update these days — feels a little bit dubious, especially when I'm listed above some genuinely useful blogs.

Anyway, there are many genuinely useful blogs on this list so I recommend having a look at it. I also made an attempt a few years at listing some of my own favourite bioinformatics blogs…a list which seems to remain relevant.