By Matthew Popadiuk

Featured as one of 35 Innovators Under 35 by the MIT Technology Review, is Ukrainian born scientist, Olga Dudchenko.

Using a technique that was originally developed to study how chromosomes fold, Dudchenko has been able to show how bits of DNA lie physically close to one another after being spit out in disorganized fragments of DNA codes by modern gene sequencing machines. Coupled with her original methods and algorithms, this makes assembling genomes much easier.

Dudchenko and her colleagues first shared the first results of what they dubbed the DNA Zoo in late 2018, including end-to-end chromosome sequences for more than 50 species of animal. This is especially important to species of animal that face extinction since, one day, the species' DNA may be all that's left of them.

With this development, Dudchenko is taking on the task to characterize the genome of every species on earth. She notes that, “The ability to [make] decisions in an informed fashion can mean the difference between survival and extinction of the species."