Beatles and Bioinformatics: Our best meeting yet

Wow, so last Wednesday we held the fourth instalment of our Balti and Bioinformatics series which was a brilliant success, attracting over 100 participants. The idea of this meeting is to bring those developing cutting-edge bioinformatics methods together with those who actually use them. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Centre for Genomic Research at the University of Liverpool and the Medical Research Council and the BBSRC we were able to change up a gear, inviting two incredible international speakers: Sébastien Boisvert and Daniel Huson. We were also able to afford a proper lunch for everyone - of course this was the traditional Liverpool dish 'scouse'.

One thing that gave the meeting a little extra edge was that we did a live 'webcast' for the very first time through YouTube's live events system. Apart from a few issues with the sound right at the beginning, this was a great success and the YouTube statistics told me that 461 playbacks were made during the broadcast. There was also a flurry of Twitter activity on the #BeatlesAndBioinformatics hashtag (see the Storify by Surya Saha here) and we even managed to take a question over Twitter.

The great thing about the YouTube live events is that it also saves a copy, and so we are able to record the event for posterity. I've had a few people ask about how to set up such a webcast themselves, we will try and write a short guide for the blog at some point.

A great meeting, I am incredibly grateful to our speakers: Séb, Daniel, Chris Quince, Susannah Salter, Sujai Kumar, Mike Cox, Rebecca Gladstone and Chris Hayman. I am also massively grateful to the team at Liverpool for helping to organise; Neil Hall, Christiane Hertz-Fowler and especially Lesley Parsons. Also thanks to Christina Bronowski and Ian Goodhead and the Free State Kitchen for help with the evening catering. And finally to Barbara Myers, Paul Loman and Josh Quick for organising the live video webcast.

Finally, we ended up in the Cavern Pub where we were entertained by the guitar antics of The Amazing Kappa.

Check out the webcast!

You can even jump directly to a talk, thanks to the tags that Sebastien Boisvert has put in.

13.00 – KEYNOTE: Sebastien Boisvert, Université Laval, Québec, Canada – “Ray and Ray Cloud Browser for Metagenomics” 5:46

13.50 – Chris Stewart, University of Northumbria at Newcastle – “Development of the Gut Microbiome in Preterm Infants at Risk of Necrotising Enterocolitis and Sepsis” 59:48

14.10 – Chris Quince, University of Glasgow – “CONCOCT: Clustering cONtigs on COverage and ComposiTion” 1:15:32

14.30 – Susannah Salter, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute – “What’s lurking in your kits?”1:39:00

15.10 – KEYNOTE: Daniel Huson – Center for Bioinformatics, University of Tübingen – “Identifying Organisms from a Stream of DNA Sequences” 2:32:30

16.00 – Sujai Kumar, University of Oxford – “Blobology: exploring raw (meta)genome data for contaminants, symbionts and parasites using taxon-annotated GC-coverage plots”3:10:50

16.20 – Mike Cox, Imperial College – “Copy number correction in 16S analysis” 3:33:16

16.40 – Rebecca Gladstone, University of Southampton / Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute – “Managing hundreds and thousands of bacterial genome sequences” 3:48:30