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Centre for Early Life Christmas Lecture - The evolution of embryo selection with Professor David Haig

Location: Microsoft Teams


Organisms that make minimal prezygotic investment in offspring frequently produce more embryos than can be provisioned. The excess embryos are aborted before major commitment of resources. Such a system increases the average fitness of provisioned offspring if embryos of lower expected fitness are selectively culled. A subset of human embryos are similarly aborted in what may be an analogous mechanism of quality control. The earliest stages after conception are expected to be a period in which embryos are required to demonstrate their metabolic efficiency if they are to avoid elimination.

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