Muondecay writes “The age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, has been tentatively answered. The verdict? The chicken, or rather a key protein needed to form the shell of the egg. The protein, called ovocledidin-17, was known to be involved in binding calcite molecules that formed the shells, but the mechanism behind this was unclear until now (abstract). The protein acts as a molecular machine, binding to nanoparticles of calcite and guiding them to begin self-assembly of the shell. This gives tremendous insight for developing methods of nano-scale self-assembly based on natural processes, as well as settling heated cocktail party arguments everywhere.”

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