Science Answers One Of Life's Greatest QuestionsS

Which came first, the chicken, or the egg? Thanks to a brave group of British researchers, the age-old question finally has an answer.

It's easy to see how the question would puzzle people. Chickens are born from eggs, so surely the egg formed first, right? But wait, chickens lay eggs, so in order for there to be an egg, a chicken had to lay it. If you ponder the question long enough, your brain starts doing little pinwheels in your skull. It's quite disturbing.

But no more! Now Dr. Colin Freeman from Sheffield University, working with colleagues from Warwick University, believes the code has been cracked.

"It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first."

Sonofabitch! I had my money down for the egg. That's $20 I'll never see again.

It turns out there's a protein, ovocledidin-17 (OC-17), that's only found in the ovaries of chickens that is crucial to the formation of an egg's shell.

OC-17 coverts calcium carbonate into calcite crystals, which in turn form the shell. No OC-17, no shell, and since OC-17 is only found in chicken ovaries, the chicken had to have come first.

The protien had been identified before, but through the use of a super computer called HECToR, scientists were able to zoom in for a closer look at egg formation, giving them the answer they'd been seeking for oh so long.

This is a sad day for members of Team Egg. The t-shirts will be relegated to dusty closet shelves and Goodwill bins, never to be seen again, until they become geek chic some 30 years from now.

Sad for Team Egg, but great for science, says Professor John Harding of Sheffield University.

"Understanding how chickens make shells is fascinating in itself but can also give clues towards designing new materials."

'The chicken came first, not the egg', scientists prove [Metro.co.uk]