Bringing Structure to Biology
EM archives to be mirrored in China
This week, a delegation from the Society of Chinese Cryo Electron Microscopy (SCCEM) visited EMBL-EBI to discuss how cryo-EM data in EMDB and EMPIAR could be made available to users from within China.
At present, downloading cryo-EM maps from the EMDB distribution sites in Europe, Japan or the US is often a very time-consuming operation for scientists in China. In recent years, China has become the fourth largest contributor of EM papers related to EMDB depositions. As there are now ~300 structural biology groups in the country, and more than half of those have an interest in cryo-EM, China is also becoming a large user of archived data. While EM models, archived in the PDB, tend to be relatively small in terms of file sizes, the same cannot be said for the 3D reconstructions in EMDB (http://emdb-empiar.org/) and especially the raw image data in EMPIAR (http://empiar.org). A group of scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), led by Professor Fei Sun, has received funding to set up a Chinese mirror site for the latter two archives on behalf of SCCEM. The delegation visited EMBL-EBI this week to discuss their plans with the EMDB/EMPIAR team here. An ftp mirror has been established already and the next step is to mirror the EMDB website. The two sites will also set up a shared source-code repository and engage in joint training and outreach activities in China.
The photo on the left shows Dr DaFei Wu (Computer Network Information Center, CAS), Dr Ardan Patwardhan (EMDB/EMPIAR, EMBL-EBI), Dr Charles Cook (Scientific Services Manager, EMBL-EBI), Prof Fei Sun (Institute of Biophysics, CAS), and Dr Yongchun Lu (Institute of Computing Technology, CAS).