United States
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Microbial Antarctic Resource System (mARS) update and SCAR Open Science meeting plans


For a description of the vision for this community resource, please go to http://mars.biodiversity.aq/ site_pages/vision.

The main idea though is that we have set up a community-driven website/database in which

  1. microbial scientists with environmental data and DNA sequence data can register their projects (whether just beginning, in the middle, or in final stages of completion),
  2. your study sites will be indicated on a circumpolar map (YES! We are finally creating a place to geo-reference your microbial data sets)
  3. you can enter relevant environmental, contextual, physiochemical data that follows the MiMarks standard used across our community globally for data sharing, and you can enter information concerning your polar DNA sequence data sets (for marker genes like 16S or 18S rRNA genes, metagenome or metatranscriptome projects) and link to the public repository where they are stored.

mARS meetings at SCAR2016
1. mARS microbial Antarctic Resource System Information Meeting

Date: Monday, 22 August
Time: 13:00-14:00
Location: KLCC, Room: 307

mARS is an information system dedicated to facilitate the discovery, access and analysis of molecular microbial diversity (meta)data generated by Antarctic researchers. This meeting provides an opportunity to inform the user community about updates and new development for this project.

2. mARS microbial Antarctic Resource System Practical Workshop

Date: Friday, 26 August
Time: 14:00-19:00
Location: KLCC, Room: 410

Practical workshop where people are tutored to provide data for the mARS.

Specific mARS updates –

We have a few key developments that we’d love to get some feedback from you on. We have a beta-test site where these can be seen. http://antabis.bedic.be/mars/site_pages/home.

Check out the new “search” and “graphs” tabs as well as poke around on this currently operational version. We are activity seeking your input here – so if you seen typos, have suggestions for improved functionality etc., let us know by email.

We are looking for people with DATA! Please, consider the added value that your contribution will make towards realizing the extent of studies that have been, or are currently being conducted in Antarctica to study this amazingly rich resource of microbial diversity. We are eager to work with you to get your data sets represented in mARS. This is the REAL THING! You do not need to have your data published yet, but for your sequences to be represented they need to be in a public repository. You can simply register your project and study area; or if you have environmental data that you want to upload – you can do the first two steps; then when you are ready – you can upload the sequence set metadata and ultimately link to your sequence data.

The intent is data discovery – and it will be realized if you participate. This data submission fulfills National Program data sharing requirements and at the same time makes your hard work discoverable!

See you in Malaysia and if you can’t make the meeting, contact us with your inputs on the Beta version, and with data sets and questions about how to use mARS.

In the fall we plan to schedule a few on line training sessions as well.