Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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transparent eggs

like sea monkeys but better
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
  [vote for,

This is an educational kit for kids: incubators and egg-pods are available. Incubators come in different capacities, depending on how many eggs you want.

An egg-pod contains a normal chicken, duck or other poultry egg. But instead of a normal egg, the opaque egg-shell has been cunningly removed, and replaced with a transparent cartridge, just perfect for slotting into the incubator.

You buy egg-pods, slot them into the incubator, when you're ready switch it on, and in the time it takes an egg to hatch, you get to see an egg transform into a baby chicken. What normally is hidden behind a layer of egg-shell.

It could be rigged with all sorts of sensors and cameras and things, so that you could get interesting scientific readings from it too.

Technological hurdles:

- removing an egg shell but keeping the egg viable.

- coming up with a transparent alternative that allows a chick to develop normally, and hatch somehow.

Possibly this would not be accepted by the public as a valid educational thing, especially as you'd then have a chick or several to look after, after it had hatched. But it might still be good as an educational aid for school/uni biology classes.

conskeptical, Jun 03 2007

Ex ovo chick embryo culture http://www.pubmedce....fcgi?artid=1783564
Not to full term, though. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2007]

More ex ovo culture http://www.zoo.utor.../vol-5/8-fisher.pdf
up to 18 days (full-term is 21 days) [MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2007]

Tamago http://images.googl...VXA:2005-42,DVXA:en
Egg sushi [jaksplat, Jun 04 2007]

Balut http://manalang.com...s/manila/balut.html
[phundug, Jun 05 2007]


       If it really could be done, I think it's a good idea, so +.
xandram, Jun 03 2007

       I like it. I can't see it being beyond the wit of man to devise a transparent egg- shell substitute. However, eggs also have a skin-like membrane under the shell, and this may be harder to substitute. I would guess that all you need is a semipermeable (and presumably bacteria-proof) membrane - maybe a bit like dialysis tubing?   

       You may also need to "transplant" the egg under sterile conditions in the first place . I know that egg white is full of lysozyme (antibacterial), but not sure if this is sufficient to defend against infection.   

       [EDIT:] I found this (clink) - clearly it's possible to culture the embryo for some time ex ovo. Not sure what the limit is on time, or whether the embryo could be grown to "hatching".   

       [EDIT again:] In fact, googling for "shell-less chick embryo" brings several hits, including high-school science projects, so it's obviously not too difficult. See second link.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2007

       I think transparent eggs for food production would be pretty neat too. It would allow for chefs to better inspect the eggs before buying or using them. I've had many mornings of throwing away eggs that had broken yolks, blood or even a partly developed embryo.
jaksplat, Jun 03 2007

       That would be silly, [jak]. Just crack the eggs into a bowl before you add them to to the dish.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2007

       [Max] I do, but if the yolks are broken, they're only good for scrambling. It's pretty frustrating to find only two usable eggs in a dozen for that perfect sunny side up. Especially when there's a stack of tickets and everyone wants poached or basted.
jaksplat, Jun 03 2007

       [jaksplat] true, but you are not going to solve the problem by getting someone to transplant every egg you buy into a transparent shell. What you really want is a chicken that *lays* transparent- shelled eggs so that they can be pre- sorted by the retailer.   

       Or change your supplier. Actually I can't think of the last time I had a "bad" (in that sense) egg. Do you get yours off the back of a lorry or something?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2007

       [jaksplat] - I agree with [MB] - you need a new egg supplier. And what are you doing frying eggs anyway? You're a sushi chef.
hippo, Jun 04 2007

       I think it would be possible to remove the shell without damaging the membrane if you had some kind of vibrating sheller that cracked the egg into tiny pieces. You could then suspend the egg(s) in a fluid in a temperature regulated tank rather than an egg sized container. This would work better with ducks than chickens as they are born able to swim.
marklar, Jun 04 2007

       // especially as you'd then have a chick or several to look after, after it had hatched// But then you could use it to study imprinting and other cognitive science projects [+]
coprocephalous, Jun 04 2007

       [marklar] The problem with any fluid is that the eggshell and membrane are permeable to air and water, and the chick's development relies on a supply of oxygen diffusing in, and carbon dioxide and water vapour diffusing out, as well as a fairly well regulated temperature. The air surrounding the egg must be neither too dry nor too moist - this is normally controlled by the hen or the incubator.   

       The ideal humidity for ducks is higher than the ideal for chicks, but the acceptable ranges overlap a lot, and neither can survive 100% humidity.
Cosh i Pi, Jun 04 2007

       ooh, I didn't know that. So my idea wouldn't work unless you could make that stuff they used in The Abyss.
marklar, Jun 04 2007

       [hippo] I have 2 jobs. I do sunday brunch at the non sushi place. All the eggs do arrive in a truck, but I don't think changing suppliers is going to change that. They'll just arrive in a different truck. We could go to the farmer's market to pick up some eggs, but it would be more expenive and the eggs packed in smaller quantities would make breakage more likely during transport.   

       //What you really want is a chicken that *lays* transparent- shelled eggs so that they can be pre- sorted by the retailer.// That's a good idea. If you boil the eggs, they'd turn white. Then you'd be able tell the difference between the raw and cooked ones just by looking.
jaksplat, Jun 04 2007

       //I think it would be possible to remove the shell//   

       // The problem with any fluid is that ...//   

       This is redundant re-baking - the links show that it can be done fairly easily up to 18 days (3 short of full term - not sure what happens after that, admittedly).
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2007

       Test tube eggs?
Dub, Jun 04 2007

       Could a small section of shell be removed and replaced with a transparent window?
lurch, Jun 04 2007

       Could you selectively breed chickens to produce windowed eggs? With floral curtains tied back on either side to provide a nice frame for the nursery?
wagster, Jun 04 2007


       heven't frogs baked/laid this?
po, Jun 04 2007

       yes, frogs have done it! but i contend that chicks are qualitatively different from frogs.
conskeptical, Jun 04 2007

       The Phillipines people have almost achieved this, with Balut (see link) - except you have to kill the embryo in order to look at it (and eat it)
phundug, Jun 05 2007

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 05 2007


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