Molecular biology of preimplantation embryos: Primer for philosophical discussions

Minoru S.H. Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article is based on a presentation at the First International Conference on Ethics, Science and Moral Philosophy of Assisted Human Reproduction. The goal is to provide scientific background for the discussion of philosophic issues. Recent advances in the systematic molecular analysis of preimplantation embryos are summarized, including the molecular identification of nearly all genes involved in preimplantation development and their detailed expression patterns. Notwithstanding a quantum leap in molecular understanding of preimplantation embryos, molecular evidence seems to provide no decisive definition of a threshold for the beginning of human life during preimplantation development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1621
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo
  • Embryogenomics
  • Philosophy
  • Preimplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology


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