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Elaine Fuchs pioneered the field of reverse genetics—studying proteins and learning what they do, and how they do it, in order to identify the genetic disease they cause when they malfunction. Previously, geneticists would take samples of DNA from a sick person and healthy DNA from a family member, then compare the two. The process, according to Fuchs, was like finding a needle in a haystack. Gaining acceptance wasn’t easy though, both as a woman in science and as a scientist pioneering a new technique.