Winner of 2004 EMBO Science Writing Prize announced
Heidelberg, 30 August 2004 - The winner of the 2004 EMBO Science Writing Prize is Matthew Bottomley of the Istituto di Ricerche di Biologia Molecolare in Rome, Italy. The winning piece, entitled “From Hawaii with Love”, takes a novel and entertaining look at the use of quorum-sensing systems in transcriptional regulation of bacteria.
The EMBO Science Writing Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding piece of science writing that effectively communicates a topical issue to a non-scientific audience. Matthew Bottomley’s innovative text fulfils this criterion on every level. The lively dialogue relates double agent James Pond’s mission to combat the deadly ‘Pseudo’ bacteria – currently a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Set in Hawaii, the exotic tale tells how Pond stumbles across the phenomenon of the glowing Bobtail Squid and learns how its quorum-sensing technology can be used in the fight against the Pseudo bacteria.
English-born, Matthew Bottomley currently lives and works in Rome, Italy. His research at the Istituto di Ricerche di Biologia Molecolare focuses on biophysical studies of protein structures involved in chromatin structure or transcription. The young researcher’s first post-doctoral position at EMBL in Heidelberg was supported by an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship.
Asked to elaborate on the inspiration behind his text, Bottomley commented that he had long been looking for an appropriate medium to communicate this fascinating story. “It was really my brother-in-law who gave me the James Bond idea. After hearing the whole bizarre story of the glowing squid, his immediate response was that it sounded like a scene from a James Bond film. That was it – James Pond was born and it was then a race against time (very Bond-like) to write the article before the deadline expired!”
The prize and award of 1,500 Euro will be presented to the winner at the EMBO Members Meeting in October of this year.