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China-A-History The last few weeks have been pretty busy with traveling and such, so I haven’t had much time to blog. I’ll be putting up an ASHG post, where I note what I saw and insights from the sessions. But not right one. This post will be a quickie.

First, traveling lets me spend some quality time with books that are in my stack as I’m going through security and sitting around on a plane with really slow internet. I finished China: A History: From Neolithic Cultures through the Great Qing Empire, (10,000 BCE – 1799 CE) on the airplane. It’s a rather quick read, at least at the relatively general level it is written. I’d recommend it as an introduction to this topic. Though it is a broad survey, I am not tempted to do a deep dive into Song dynasty, which I’ve neglected since reading The Age of Confucian Rule. Next up is The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, which I’m quite enjoying.

Second, I was shooting the shit with some friends, and I’ve come to the conclusion that one way to characterize the state of genetics in this young century is that the 2000s were about learning to read. The 2010s were about learning to read well. The 2020s will be about learning to write. The last is a reference to CRISPR.

Third, it’s probably skewed by the nature of the conference goers, but it seems that I’m now more well known for my Twitter presence than my blog. It was a pleasure catching up with everyone though.

Finally, Larry Moran has a post up about me.

• Tags: ASHG, Miscellaneous 
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In the Big Apple

I’m very excited to be going to ASHG this year. The last time it was great meeting people like Luke Jostins‘ for the first time (and re-meeting people for the second or third time). Also, the posters and talks gave a preview of things which came out later in the year, so the cost of attendance was certainly worth that. I dig genetics. This time I’m going to be in San Diego, a city that I’ve never been to. Excited to explore a little if I have time. Though despite what I’ve said on Twitter I am not going to Tijuana. But speaking of fun, if any reader knows of after hours parties, etc., I’d appreciate it if you’d hook me up. I’m actually a kind, gentle, and fun person in real life who is not a bad dancer (people seem to think I’m mean and brusque from my internet persona; this has been brought up to me by several people after they’ve met me).

Below are the sessions, etc. I’ll be going to if anyone wants to try and assassinate me in broad daylight (that’s a joke, not an invitation).


First, ASHG/ASBH Joint Satellite Symposium: From Clinical to Community Sequencing: Emerging Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Genomics. This happens Saturday morning. Hopefully I’ll be in an OK mood after the opinions mooted here. I’m worried I won’t be.

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Getting the Most from the Human Genome: Understanding Updates and Making Use of Improvements in the Reference Assembly, Convention Center Room 28A, Upper Level. I’ve played around the human genome before, and I plan on doing so in the future. So seems worthwhile.

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Baylor College of Medicine Exhibitor Education Event Convention Center Room 28B, Upper Level. Perhaps they’ll have stuff on their exome price points? I don’t know.

At 5:30, going to see The UK10K project: rare variants in health and disease.

At 7:00 PM, #ASHG14 Tweetup. I think I’ll go for the free food & drink for sure. If Dan or Leonid are there I’m pretty sure they’ll be sucking up all the oxygen, so I can be on the down low. On the other hand they are PIs with responsibilities and stuff, so perhaps they won’t make it.


I’ll make it to the 8:00 AM sessions, assuming I don’t stay up too late the previous night.

10:00 AM, X chromosomes and crowd-sourcing genomics both interest me. Might switch between the two.

12:00 PM, definitely going to eat and check out the population genetics and genomics posters. Roche and Personalis also have some exhibits that sound interesting.

1:30 PM, Patterns and Determinants of Genetic Variation: Recombination, Mutation, and Selection. A lot of the stuff in this session is known to me, or the papers came out, so I might check the other ones too.

4:00 PM, posters again.

After 6:00 PM, no idea. 1000 Genomes data tutorial at 7:45 might be interesting.


8:00 AM, plan to heckle Konrad for sure.

10:00 AM, Cloud with a Chance of Big Data looks interesting. Especially the Chris Chang presentation. But Population Structure, Admixture, and Human History is going to be hard to resist.

After the sessions not sure which vendor presentations look the most interesting. I think last time I went to BioNano’s, I wonder if they’d made much progression since 2012. Going to definitely make the post sessions with the authors present, and see if I can get some face time with people who are likely to be mobbed.

4:30 PM, Rare Mutations, Well Done, Statistical Methods for Population Based Studies, and Epigenomics of Normal Populations and Disease States look interesting.


The 8:00 AM plenary looks like it is worth waking up for. The Genomic Medicine panel looks interesting too.

10:30 AM, Statistical Methods for Multigene, Gene Interaction and Pathway Analyses. This seems hard. The Dynamic Genome: Structural and Somatic Variation. The title is kind of eye rolling (“dynamic” anything seems to buzzwordy to me), but the topic is important.

~12:30 PM, I think I’ll make it to the Complete Genomics presentation. I hope the food is good.

4:30, We Have the Technology: Next-Generation Genomic Methods.

Wednesday: I’m flying out in the morning. And as a brown guy I make a policy of getting to the airport very early (and shaving).

• Category: Science • Tags: ASHG 
Razib Khan
About Razib Khan

"I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. If you want to know more, see the links at"