The egg. The inside story of a cell

Manuela Monti, Carloalberto Redi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The egg, a fantastic little laboratory of molecular biology, has played a crucial role in redefining modern biology by moving it from the description of living things to the synthesis of living things (synthetic biology). Over the centuries, many hypotheses have been advanced concerning the egg's role in reproduction-from the preformation theory until von Baer's discovery to the present, with the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine celebrating the egg as a totipotent stem cell able to reprogram fully differentiated somatic nuclei. The molecular dissection of its cytoplasmic components makes the egg an ideal bioreactor for several biotechnological applications, including pharmacological and food production sciences. In addition to its ubiquitous contribution to the worldwide diet, the egg, a powerful symbol, pervades philosophy, art, religion, and idiomatic expressions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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