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      Report of the 13 th Genomic Standards Consortium Meeting, Shenzhen, China, March 4–7, 2012.

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          This report details the outcome of the 13 th Meeting of the Genomic Standards Consortium. The three-day conference was held at the Kingkey Palace Hotel, Shenzhen, China, on March 5–7, 2012, and was hosted by the Beijing Genomics Institute. The meeting, titled From Genomes to Interactions to Communities to Models, highlighted the role of data standards associated with genomic, metagenomic, and amplicon sequence data and the contextual information associated with the sample. To this end the meeting focused on genomic projects for animals, plants, fungi, and viruses; metagenomic studies in host-microbe interactions; and the dynamics of microbial communities. In addition, the meeting hosted a Genomic Observatories Network session, a Genomic Standards Consortium biodiversity working group session, and a Microbiology of the Built Environment session sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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          Most cited references 13

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          The minimum information about a genome sequence (MIGS) specification.

          With the quantity of genomic data increasing at an exponential rate, it is imperative that these data be captured electronically, in a standard format. Standardization activities must proceed within the auspices of open-access and international working bodies. To tackle the issues surrounding the development of better descriptions of genomic investigations, we have formed the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC). Here, we introduce the minimum information about a genome sequence (MIGS) specification with the intent of promoting participation in its development and discussing the resources that will be required to develop improved mechanisms of metadata capture and exchange. As part of its wider goals, the GSC also supports improving the 'transparency' of the information contained in existing genomic databases.
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            Is Open Access

            The Genomic Standards Consortium

            A vast and rich body of information has grown up as a result of the world's enthusiasm for 'omics technologies. Finding ways to describe and make available this information that maximise its usefulness has become a major effort across the 'omics world. At the heart of this effort is the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), an open-membership organization that drives community-based standardization activities, Here we provide a short history of the GSC, provide an overview of its range of current activities, and make a call for the scientific community to join forces to improve the quality and quantity of contextual information about our public collections of genomes, metagenomes, and marker gene sequences.
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              Meeting Report: The Terabase Metagenomics Workshop and the Vision of an Earth Microbiome Project

              Between July 18th and 24th 2010, 26 leading microbial ecology, computation, bioinformatics and statistics researchers came together in Snowbird, Utah (USA) to discuss the challenge of how to best characterize the microbial world using next-generation sequencing technologies. The meeting was entitled “Terabase Metagenomics” and was sponsored by the Institute for Computing in Science (ICiS) summer 2010 workshop program. The aim of the workshop was to explore the fundamental questions relating to microbial ecology that could be addressed using advances in sequencing potential. Technological advances in next-generation sequencing platforms such as the Illumina HiSeq 2000 can generate in excess of 250 billion base pairs of genetic information in 8 days. Thus, the generation of a trillion base pairs of genetic information is becoming a routine matter. The main outcome from this meeting was the birth of a concept and practical approach to exploring microbial life on earth, the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP). Here we briefly describe the highlights of this meeting and provide an overview of the EMP concept and how it can be applied to exploration of the microbiome of each ecosystem on this planet.

                Author and article information

                Stand Genomic Sci
                Stand Genomic Sci
                Standards in Genomic Sciences
                Michigan State University
                04 May 2012
                25 May 2012
                : 6
                : 2
                : 276-286
                [1 ]Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
                [2 ]Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
                [3 ]National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
                [4 ]Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
                [5 ]University of Oxford e-Research Centre, Oxford, UK
                [6 ]GigaScience, BGI Hong Kong Ltd., Hong Kong
                [7 ]School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
                [8 ]University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore MD, USA
                [9 ]Gump South Pacific Research Station, University of California Berkeley, French Polynesia
                [10 ]Michigan State University, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, East Lansing, MI, USA
                [11 ]University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
                [12 ]National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
                [13 ]Field Museum, Chicago, IL, USA
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Jack Gilbert ( gilbertjack@ )
                Funded by: US Department of Energy
                Award ID: AC02-06CH11357
                Funded by: US National Science Foundation
                Award ID: RCN4GSC
                Award ID: DBI-0840989
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