Kristin Harper

Kristen has a PhD in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, and a Master of Public Health in Global Epidemiology from Emory University.

Articles by Kristin Harper

Free Resources for Teaching Yourself to Analyze Next Gen Sequencing Data

Free Resources for Teaching Yourself to Analyze Next Gen Sequencing Data

If you’re new to next gen sequencing, figuring out what to do with your results can be a daunting process. Luckily, you’re not alone—plenty of people have been in your shoes, and there is tons of information about data analysis out there. Here are some free resources you can use to get up to speed…

Pathway Analysis for Next Gen Data

Pathway Analysis for Next Gen Data

Squinting at a long list of significant genes from your latest RNA-seq experiment? Having trouble making sense of the results? You’re not alone. Pathway analysis is becoming increasingly popular because it helps researchers make sense of complex data sets, including those obtained using next gen sequencing techniques. By systematically culling information about biological pathways and…

How to Make Sure Your NGS Results are Robust

How to Make Sure Your NGS Results are Robust

Next gen sequencing is a powerful technique, one that now lies at the heart of many scientific projects. This power comes with some special challenges, however, and by recognizing them you can ensure that your NGS results are robust. No one wants to publish findings that other scientists fail to replicate, but unfortunately it happens…

Getting to Know Your h-index

Getting to Know Your h-index

You’re applying for your first tenure-track position, and you’ve heard that your dream department uses something called the h-index to decide who will get interviews. It’s an increasingly common scenario: institutions are now regularly using the h-index to help make hiring and promotion decisions, especially when they have to screen many applicants. For that reason,…

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

You’ve got an advisor, you’re done with classes, you’ve finally passed your qualifying exams and your dissertation project is underway. Life is looking good, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how to tackle your dissertation. Chances are this is the biggest writing project you have ever undertaken, so breaking it up into…

Top Resources for Learning a NGS Programming Language

Top Resources for Learning a NGS Programming Language

In my previous article ‘Choosing a scripting language for next gen sequencing: Python, Perl, and more’ I discussed several of the more common programming languages used for next generation sequencing and things to consider when picking which one to learn.  But now that you know WHAT you want to learn, HOW do you go about…

Choosing a Scripting Language for Next Generation Sequencing: Python, Perl, and More

Choosing a Scripting Language for Next Generation Sequencing: Python, Perl, and More

Large amounts of data? Check. Repetitive tasks? Check. If you work with next gen sequencing data, you have probably already realized it’s a good idea to learn a scripting language. But learning a programming language is a major endeavour, and with lots of languages available how do you decide which one to study? And once…

Saying goodbye to 454: how to choose your next NGS platform

Saying goodbye to 454: how to choose your next NGS platform

The Rise and Fall of the 454 Sequencer  The GS20 454 sequencer, released in 2005, was the first next-generation DNA sequencer to hit the market, and its feats quickly dazzled the scientific community. As new sequencing platforms proliferated, however, many researchers opted for less expensive options and 454 market share fell. About a year ago,…

Beware The Bane of Batch Effects

Beware The Bane of Batch Effects

A promising study on using gene expression to develop personalized treatments for ovarian cancer. A report of surprisingly high levels of differential gene expression among different ethnic groups. The announcement of previously unsuspected levels of physiological diversity in Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes the most deadly form of malaria. What do these three seemingly…

Next Gen Sequencing or Microarray: How to Make the Choice

Next Gen Sequencing or Microarray: How to Make the Choice

You’re about to start that big project you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’ve identified a potential miracle compound and want to figure out how it affects gene expression. But how are you going to do it: with next gen sequencing or a microarray? Especially if you are new to this area of research, the…

What To Do When Whole Genome Sequencing Yields Unexpected Results: Is There A One-Size-Fits-All Answer?

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming increasingly common. Doctors now routinely order it for patients with puzzling diseases. The NHS (National Health Service in the UK) has declared that it will sequence 100,000 genomes over the next few years. Increase WGS…increase ethical questions The direct-to-consumer company 23andme has been experimenting with whole exome sequencing (WES), and another company, DNA…