Ukrainian Olga Dudchenko enters the rating 35 Innovators Under 35 according to MIT

MIT Technology Review has published the latest rating 35 Innovators Under 35. This rating has been published annually since 1999. It is a list of scientists under 35 years old who have made a significant contribution to science. These can be representatives of various fields, ranging from biology to computer science.

This year, the rating included 34-year-old Ukrainian Olga Dudchenko, a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University. Olga has created a way to sequence a genome quickly.

Modern gene sequencing machines work very fast, reading the DNA of peanuts, eggplant or armadillo in two days. However, what they spit out is billions of unorganized fragments of DNA code. Olga Dudchenko helped to put these pieces together in the correct order to reveal the actual genome faster and cheaper.

Dudchenko uses Hi-C, a method originally developed to study how chromosomes fold to show which DNA fragments are physically close to each other. In combination with the methods and algorithms of Dudchenko, it helps to simplify the assembly of genomes.

At the end of 2018, Dudchenko and her colleagues shared the first results of DNA Zoo, which already has end-to-end chromosome sequences for more than 50 species, including the cheetah, red panda, and Brazilian porcupine. Given that in the modern world these animal species are increasingly prone to extinction, one day their DNA can become all that is left of them.

Scientists now have a task to characterize the genome of each species on Earth. DNA Zoo (where Dudchenko is called the “chief zoologist”) publishes new data every week.