A video has been making rounds for the past few days on a majority of the social networking websites showing a few Japanese students hatching a chicken outside of its shell. The video which can be viewed right here gives us a glimpse of a very satisfying and intriguing process.
Here are your possible reactions after watching the video:
Of course, one of these had to be your reaction! Although this wasn’t the first time this process was done, the results are very encouraging from the scientific perspective. This experiment has been done several times before too. Now here are the two questions which primarily come to mind after watching the experiment.
Well because, for starters, it’s a step towards the future which could entail the endangering of some of the birds and some other beings. For quite some years now the scientists have been looking for a way to gain an insight on how the growth process of chicks and some other offspring works. One of the major reasons behind this is that it helps them to study regenerative medicine techniques and a big example is Genetic Engineering. It can help in the progress of research of transgenic chickens, embryo manipulations, tissue engineering. Another reason is that sometimes while growing there may be some damage that may be caused to the egg and studies will help the scientists to still save the growth of these chicks.
The Journal of Poultry Science, Japan, back in 2014 revealed details of the experiment which can be accessed here. What this report basically says is that after a cracked egg is put into a sterile culture vessel and covered in a plastic film, it is placed into an incubator. Now after a few days, we can see blood vessels and a heartbeat. And after that, as seen in the clip, within 20-21 days the chick running around in the lab.
This process can help the scientists gain a better view of the developmental process by putting it under the microscope and using Time-Lapse photography. While the process may look a tad bit simple, it isn’t so. This experiment had to be conducted under very controlled and sterile conditions in the laboratory. The bottom line is that if the scientists are able to provide ‘natural conditions’ for this process, then it may be more successful in the future.
While the legitimacy of the part where the chick runs around in the lab cannot be confirmed, the research on this particular topic has shown that this experiment, in fact, is very much possible. In any way you see this might be a step towards progression in the field of genetic engineering as well as the protection of endangered birds in the future.