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Biological optimization, the Goldilocks principle, and how much is lagom in the preimplantation embryo

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  • Henry J Leese
  • Fabrice Guerif
  • Victoria Allgar
  • Daniel R Brison
  • Kersti Lundin
  • Roger G Sturmey


Publication details

JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Jul 2016
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2016
Issue number9
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)748-754
Original languageEnglish


The quiet embryo hypothesis postulates that early embryo viability is associated with a relatively low metabolism (Leese, 2002 BioEssays 24: 845-849). This proposal is re-visited here using retrospective and prospective data on the metabolic activity and kinetics of preimplantation development alongside the concept that an optimal range of such indices and of energetic efficiency influences embryogenesis. It is concluded that these considerations may be rationalized by proposing the existence of a "Goldilocks zone," or as it is known in Sweden, of lagom-meaning "just the right amount"-within which embryos with maximum developmental potential can be categorized. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 748-754, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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