Yesterday we wrote about an initial report titled A first look at the Oxford Nanopore MinION Sequencer. The author detailed various steps of nanopore sequencing and presented results from his samples. In twitter, some others criticized his bioinformatics methods arguing that the alignment tools he used were responsible for his observation of high percentage of misaligned reads. Thankfully, the author also uploaded all his raw data on to github for anyone else to check.
We thought that was a triumph of open science, where any apparently incorrect observation would be quickly corrected by the community. We are yet to see anyone redoing the alignments with suggested proper procedures, and instead the saga has taken a different turn. Dr. Mikheyev wrote to us that he was kicked out of ONT MAP program with the following message.
We therefore can only conclude that your objectives and outlook are fundamentally misaligned with those of the MAP programme and the other participants.
Not sure whether it is intentional, but the message seems to add another dimension to the ‘misalignment’ issues. We contacted Oxford Nanopore to confirm the veracity of the above account, but have not heard back yet.
Here are a few clarifications on the above issue, based on relevant twitter discussions.