I think that communicating about the science we do should become a part of the scientific process. In March 2013 I joined a select group of scientists, journalists, PR representatives, and science writers at a NESCent Catalysis meeting to discuss how to facilitate interactions between those producing science, and those publicizing science, particularly in relation to the topic of evolution.


  • December 2014 - Interviewed about co-organized session, "The X-factor of Complex Disease," at ASHG 2014.
  • November 2014 - Interviewed about bioinformatics research as part of a series with notable bioinformaticians.
  • October 2014 - Interviewed about genomic testing as new resources surface for Phoenix Children's Hospital.
  • October 2014 - Interviewed about Open Access publishing. 
  • October 2014 - Profiled on for "Cracking the (bio)code." - profile here
  • September 2014 - Breaking Bio #65 "Sex chromosomes & Math for Biologists with Dr. Melissa Wilson Sayres" - watch here.
  • April 2014 - "56 different points on the gender spectrum" panel discussion at The Conference on World Affairs - watch here.
  • March 2014 - Interviewed by Maria Armoudian on The Scholar's Circle, NPR, along with Jeremy Nathans, about the X and Y chromosomes. - listen here.
  • January 2014 - Interviewed about Y chromosomes by Jonathan Green of ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) Radio National. - listen here
  • August 2013 - "Sex, male bias, and degeneration". Invited public lecture hosted by Bay Area Skeptics, Berkeley, CA.


1000 genomes project advances the study of disease

October 7, 2015

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium has released an article in Nature detailing the completion of seven years of work titled, “A global reference for human genetic variation.” Melissa Wilson Sayres, Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences and faculty of the Center for Evolution and Medicine is one of the contributors to this substantial undertaking, and the sole researcher from Arizona State University involved in this multi-university (and multi-continent)...

The alien within: fetal cells influence maternal health during pregnancy (and long after)

August 28, 2015

Parents go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their developing offspring. The favor, however, may not always be returned. Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health. The presence of fetal cells in maternal tissue is known as fetal microchimerism. The term alludes to the chimeras of...

New research reveals poor communication between sex chromosomes

July 29, 2015

According to a Smithsonian Magazine feature titled “Human Sex Chromosomes Are Sloppy DNA Swappers,” Arizona State University School of Life Sciences assistant professor and Biodesign Institute researcher Melissa Wilson Sayres has discovered that the X and Y chromosome are not very neat when pairing and sharing DNA. While most of the 22 pairs of chromosomes in a human’s DNA swap genetic material along their entire length, the X and Y sex chromosomes evolved in a way that...

Sex, Evolution and Disease

June 22, 2015

Presented by Melissa Wilson Sayres, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biodesign Institute’s Center for Evolution and Medicine This is a Spirit of the Senses salon. Members and Biodesign employees and their guests are welcome. More information

Researchers discover wealth, power may have played stronger role than 'survival of the fittest'

March 17, 2015

In a study led by scientists from Arizona State University, the University of Cambridge, University of Tartu and Estonian Biocentre, researchers discovered a dramatic decline in genetic diversity in male lineages 4,000 to 8,000 years ago – likely the result of the accumulation of material wealth, while in contrast, female genetic diversity was on the rise. This male-specific decline occurred during the mid- to late-Neolithic period. “Instead of ‘survival of the fittest’ in a...