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The Annotathon is a dedicated online bioinformatics training environment. Trainees are invited to annotate metagenomic DNA fragments added to their personnal sequence cart from various oceanic locations (Global Ocean Sampling project by Venter et al.). The analyses include the detection of potential coding regions, the search for sequence homologs and identification of conserved protein domains, as well as the reconstruction of phygenetic trees.
The Annotathon is designed to manage large trainee cohorts grouped into teams (such as students following the same course) supervised by instructors. Each sequence annotation produced by trainees is examined, commented on and evaluated by instructors twice. This allows trainees to revise their initial annotations, thus improving their bioinformatics skills. After the team closing date, trainee evaluations are compiled into an overall grade, and positively evaluated annotations are exported to the Metagenes Wiki.
The Annotathon is featured in the November 2008 edition of PLoS Biology: [http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060296 Metagenome Annotation Using a Distributed Grid of Undergraduate Students]
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Université de la Méditerranée & CNRS
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