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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 22, 2008

Battle of the sexes, chromosomally speaking, is subject of lecture Sept. 27

"Chromosomes Caught in the Battle of the Sexes: Advantage Female" will be the subject of a free, public lecture to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall.

Bryant McAllister, associate professor in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Department of Biology, will present the lecture and discussion session.

Part of the CLAS 2008 Saturday Scholars lecture series, the talk will begin by examining how differences between the sexes exist universally among animals and plants.

Although males and females share a common gene pool, the sex chromosomes control sex, and so they are not shared equally between females and males. Research by McAllister and his colleagues explores how this inequality influences the content and function of genes on the sex chromosomes. McAllister says that his studies involving fruit flies (Drosophila) indicate that selection pressures unique to females appear to have an overwhelming influence on the sex chromosomes.

McAllister joined the UI faculty in 2002 after earning a doctorate in biology from the University of Rochester and receiving an Alfred P. Sloan/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Evolution. His primary UI teaching responsibility is an undergraduate course in evolution. In addition, he is a member of the Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics and a 2008 Dean's Scholar. Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust have supported his research.

Other events in the 2008 Saturday Scholars series will include:

--Oct. 11: "The Kiowa Ledger Artist: Insight into a Special Culture," presented by Jacki Rand, Department of History.

--Oct. 18: "Photography and Place: New York Narratives," presented by Margaret Stratton, School of Art and Art History.

--Oct. 25: "Chemicals from Nature: Toxins to Treatments," presented by Jim Gloer, Department of Chemistry.

--Nov. 1: "Medicine vs. the Media," presented by Julie Andsager, School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

--Nov. 15: "New Iowa Writers: Readings by Students," presented by Jae Choi, Iowa Writers' Workshop; Hali Felt, Nonfiction Writing Program; Gabriel Houck, Nonfiction Writing Program; and Ted Thompson, Iowa Writers' Workshop.

All Saturday Scholars presentations begin at 10 a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall, the southeast building on the UI Pentacrest. Each session will last about an hour, with a 20 to 30 minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Refreshments will be served.

For more information on the series, visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the college in advance at 319-335-2610.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, University News Services, 319-384-0009,; Carla Carr, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 319-335-2818,