The Arnold lab studies biological factors that make males and females different. Many diseases affect the two sexes differently, but the factors that cause the sex differences are poorly understood. Because one sex is often protected from a disease, it makes sense to identify the mechanisms underlying the sex difference as one strategy to find factors that are protective. These factors might be targets for novel therapies. Most sex differences in physiology and disease are caused by sex hormones coming from the testes or ovaries. We have found, however, that some sex differences also are caused by genes on the sex chromosomes that act outside of the gonads. We are interested in constructing a general theory of sex determination and sexual differentiation that applies to any tissue.
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