xD Bio, the creators of Truwl, started as a result of a lot of ‘what ifs’. Co-founders Karl Sebby and Tim Thompson previously worked together on a cancer research project. When it came time to make plans to gather sequencing data and put together a data analysis strategy they dove into the scientific literature to see what the state of the art was and how to best use it to make new scientific advances.
After months of reading methods sections, reading software documentation, and downloading and trying programs, little actual progress was made. All we wanted to see was what programs were used to process data, what were the parameters and what were results so we could start implementing our own analyses.
We found out that figuring out how best analyze sequencing data is a significant problem that needed better solutions. What if things could be easier? What if methods were shared in a way that others could rapidly find and see what others have done and use it as is or adapt it to suit their needs? Could research be done faster, new ideas tested more quickly, more companies started from people analyzing public datasets to make discoveries into rare diseases that are understudied? What if patients with their own sequencing data could gain insights about themselves and pass the results onto researchers and clinicians? The more we thought about it, the greater the possibilities seemed. What if graduate students and postdocs could analyze their own data quickly with confidence with community support without having to become computer science experts? What advances could be made in medicine, diagnostics, agriculture, conservation, and a host of other fields that are using sequencing data to understand biology?
This was the start of xD Bio and development of Truwl to allow researchers to start and stay at the cutting edge of genomic analysis.