Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Transitions in the CAMERA metagenomics database ---

Just got this email announcement that I thought would be of interest:

Thank you for being a CAMERA user during its first phases of operation as a
resource for environmental genomics. During the past few years, CAMERA has
been able to offer a number of important community resources, including an
exceptionally well curated environmental genomic database, the ability for
researchers to deposit molecular sequence datasets with associated
environmental parameters (metadata), open access to computational resources
to enable metagenomic comparisons, educational resources and helpdesk
services. These efforts have been funded through the Gordon and Betty Moore
Foundation (GBMF) Marine Microbiology Initiative and the National Science
Foundation to serve the needs of the marine microbiology community and
other users.

As we announced earlier this year, CAMERA is undergoing a transition,
shifting from the Testing and Development phase of CAMERA 2.0 into multiple
entities that are supported by federal and foundation-funded projects for
developing and managing databases. Toward this end, we are re-prioritizing
access to the advanced data analysis capabilities of the system (see below)
while maintaining free and open access to CAMERA’s rich collection of
curated data and metadata. This will involve CAMERA being restructured into
a publicly accessible Data Distribution Center consisting of a simplified
website to enable streamlined access for downloading of sequence datasets
and associated metadata. This new interface will serve as an intuitively
accessible central repository, facilitating direct access to genomic,
metagenomic, transcriptomic, and metatransciptomic projects. Further, the
CAMERA 3.0 database will continue to grow and be maintained with the
inclusion of additional marine microbial datasets, such as the ~700 new
marine microbial eukaryote transcriptome datasets as part of the Marine
Microbial Eukaryote Transcriptome Sequencing Project
(marinemicroeukaryotes.org).

In the past, the CAMERA 2.0 compute resources, which include large-scale
BLAST capabilities and other workflow-enabled analysis capabilities, were
generously supported by the GBMF, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the
NSF XSEDE program, and commercial Cloud computing resource providers,
Amazon and CODONiS. Due to increasing computational costs and the need for
scalability to larger, more complex datasets, it is now necessary for
CAMERA 3.0 to adopt a resource access model wherein projects will need to
identify sources of funding to cover their use of these advanced
capabilities. Starting January 1, 2014, CAMERA 3.0 will no longer offer the
use of computational resources to projects that cannot identify a source of
support for this component of CAMERA 3.0 services. As we shift to this new
usage model, we urge current users to download and save customized data
cart holdings and workflow analysis results before January 1, 2014.

While we are shifting to a restricted resource compute model, we will
continue to improve the capabilities of the system to expand the scientific
breadth of the data managed by CAMERA 3.0. For example, CAMERA 3.0 includes
fully functioning workflows for Illumina datasets, which can be made
available to those users who can identify a source of support for the
associated computational costs. In addition, CAMERA is actively seeking
resources to continue to take community data submissions. If you are now
collecting or have plans to collect data which you wish to deposit in
CAMERA, we urge you to contact us to help you to determine how to obtain
the resources required for these data to be archived and made available
through CAMERA.

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