The Chicken Came Before the Egg

发布时间:2011-05-07 18:52:00


    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This is one of life’s oldest questions and everyone has their own opinion. Now scientists believe they have cracked it and have unscrambled this mystery. Researchers from Sheffield and Warwick Universities in England discovered the answer by mistake. They used a super computer to zoom in on the shell-making process while a new shell was forming. They said it all boils down to one protein called OC17 that is essential for forming eggshell. This is only found inside a chicken's ovaries, which is proof that the chicken came first. The team was originally looking at how animals and birds make eggshells but suddenly made their surprising discovery. The big question now is where chickens came from. The answer to that is from dinosaurs.

    The research team said eggshells are one of nature’s most amazing creations. Professor John Harding from Sheffield University told reporters: "Understanding how chickens make eggshells is fascinating in itself but can also give clues towards designing new materials and processes." Eggshells are very lightweight but incredibly strong. The most cutting-edge materials designed by the world’s top engineers cannot produce anything as brilliant as an eggshell. Professor Harding added that studying eggshells could help find new answers to bone-healing processes and materials used by the construction industry: "Nature has found innovative solutions that work for all kinds of problems in materials science and technology -- we can learn a lot from them," he said.

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