Just got back from a one day trip to San Diego to visit the folks who run CAMERA, the metagenomics database being run out of CALIT2/JCVI. The main point of this meeting was to start to figure out how to take computational tools that we have developed in my lab or will develop in my new iSEEM project (with Katie Pollard and Jessica Green) and make them available in CAMERA.
But as usual, the most fun part of the trip was to see the CALIT2 toys. And boy do they have toys. Larry Smarr, the director of CALIT2 and the PI on the CAMERA project (funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) gave us a quick tour around the building. My slide show is embedded below. Mostly we got to see the massive multimonitor “optiportal” display walls. We also got to see the big linux cluster that is the guts of CAMERA (and may favorite part, of course – the big PLoS Biology sign relating to the Global Ocean Survey papers in front of the computer).
CAMERA, which stands for Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (thus, why we say CAMERA), is a big and complex enterprise, hosting metagenomics sequence data, metadata associated with the sequence, and a variety of analysis tools for working with the data. You can find out more about it in a paper from PLoS Biology here.
Now, CAMERA is not the only metagenomics database out there. The other main one people seem to use is IMG/M from JGI. If you are interested in metagenomics analysis in any way, it is worth becoming familiar with both systems.