Xfam consortium meeting

June 4, 2010

The annual Xfam consortium meeting was held on the 10-11th May 2010 and we have the photographic evidence to prove it.

We spent the two days listening to talks from everyone about the latest developments.  We were particularly interested to hear about new developments in HMMER3 and INFERNAL – fundamental pieces of software that Xfam rely on.  Nucleotide enabled HMMER3 is in development and will be great for Rfam, hopefully replacing the current BLAST pre-filters.  We are also had updates on how the HMMER software scales using multiple threading and/or MPI.

We also had a number of wide ranging discussions.  Erik Sonnhammer unfortunately wasn’t present this time so the usual discussion on Stockholm alignment format was avoided.  However, we had a fulsome discussion of Pfam family naming nomenclature.  It was generally agreed that although there were rules followed for Pfam short names, no one else in the world understood them.  So we will endeavour to add a new section to our documentation about it.  We discussed how much information is actually required before a DUF (domain of unknown function) is renamed to something more meaningful.

We were blessed because the Icelandic ash cloud didn’t intervene.  But one of our number did leave their passport in a car bound for Oxford causing a delay home. We would like to thank all the members of the Pfam and Rfam consortia for coming and also to our other EBI attendees.

Janelia Farm Research Campus: Sean Eddy, Eric Nawrocki, Travis Wheeler, Tom Jones, Diana Kolbe, Michael Farrar

Stockholm Bioinformatics Center: Kristoffer Forslund, Dave Messina

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute: Alex Bateman, Paul Gardner, Lars Barquist, Jaina Mistry, John Tate, Prasad Gunasekaran, Penny Coggill, Rob Finn

University of Manchester: Sam Griffiths-Jones

University of Oxford: Andreas Heger

University of Helsinki: Liisa Holm

Other friends from EBI: Sarah Hunter, Phil Jones, Craig McAnulla  and  Javier Herrero.

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