/ 04 November 2021

A win and a remarkable story

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Professor Eddie Holmes from Sydney Uni has won the PM’s Prize for Science, worth $250,000. The ceremony was last night – virtually, of course… An expert on the evolution of viral diseases, he was Eddie on the spot when it came to COVID-19. After decades of studying how viruses evolve and jump between species, he has previously made important discoveries about the HIV, Ebola and Zika viruses. “I’m a bit like the Forrest Gump of COVID; I appear to be in every scene without knowing it,” he said. This time around, after building concern that Chinese authorities were hushing up the outbreak, he publicly shared the genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the first time in January last year, publishing it on behalf of Chinese scientists. It enabled researchers worldwide to get cracking, and his colleagues have called it “one the most important acts of data-sharing ever undertaken”. Give that man 2 prizes…

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