Image of the Day: Eggshell Edifice

A brand-new 3-D design plumbs the molecular complexities of eggshell structure.

3-D restoration of a nanostructured area of a bird eggshell D. ANTHANASIADOU ET AL.

Bird eggs– and the dinosaur eggs that preceded them– have a hard task. They need to be hard enough to safeguard an establishing embryo throughout incubation, and later on, weak enough to permit the hatchling to obtain out. Scientist reported recently (March 30) in Science Advances that they developed a 3-D design of the chicken ( Gallus gallus) eggshell’s nanostructure. The design reveals that the molecular homes alter from the shell’s external to inner layers, impacting its firmness, flexibility, and dissolvability, which the shell deteriorates later on in incubation to permit the chick to hatch.

D. Athanasiadou et al., “Nanostructure, osteopontin, and mechanical homes of calcitic bird eggshell,” Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/ sciadv.aar3219, 2018.

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