British researchers claim the chicken came before the egg. Dr. Colin Freeman, from Sheffield University, led a team from Sheffield and Warwick University and found scientific proof that the chicken came before the egg. Freeman states "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."
Researchers using a super computer in Edinburgh known as HECToR, found that the formation of eggs can not occur without a specific protein, identified as oyocledidin-17 (OC-17) found in a chicken's ovaries. Freeman added "the protein had been identified before and it was linked to egg formation but by examining it closely we have been able to see how it controls the process." Freeman and his team found that OC-17 works to increase the formation of an egg's shell. The protein then helps transfer calcium carbonate into calcite crystals to manufacture 6 grams of shell every 24 hour period.
Researchers believe that borrowing the chicken's shell making process can lead to the design of new materials.