Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Breakthrough: The Chicken-Egg Conundrum
London, Jul 14 (PTI) -- It's the age-old question that has puzzled the finest minds for thousands of years -- which came first: The chicken or the egg?
Now, scientists claim to have finally discovered the answer to the conundrum -- it's the chicken which came first.
A team from University of Sheffield and University of Warwick has found that a protein called ovocleidin (OC-17) is crucial in the formation of eggshells. It is produced in the pregnant hen's ovaries so the correct reply to the egg riddle must be that the chicken came first, the scientists say.
However, the research does not come up with how the protein-producing chicken existed in the first place, the 'Daily Express' reported.
"Nature has found innovative solutions that work for all kinds of problems in materials science and technology. We learn a lot from them," said Prof John Harding, a member of the research team.
Calcite crystals are found in numerous bones and shells but chickens form them quicker than any other species, creating six grams (0.2oz) of shell every 24 hours. Once the shell has formed, the chicken expels the egg.
(Thank God for eggs!!!)