September 22, 2021

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The science has finally been published: This is how you calculate the shape of an egg

The science has finally been published: This is how you calculate the shape of an egg

Scientists have succeeded in creating a universal formula that can describe any natural bird egg. This formula provides a glimpse into the evolutionary past of the egg.

What we never thought of over Sunday breakfast kept scientists busy for years: the shape of an egg. This is because not only did it arise; The egg must meet many conditions. It should be large enough to house the fetus, small enough to leave the mother’s body, and strong enough not to break in the least. In addition, it should not roll over after applying it.

“What makes the egg so special is that it has been in nature for thousands of years in just so many different forms and yet it is still recognizable as an egg,” he explains. Valentine Carmaker, a mathematician at Utrecht University and was not involved in formulating the new formula. The egg comes in four geometric shapes: ball, oval, oval and pear-shaped. Until now, there was only one formula describing the first three forms.

new formula

An international team of researchers returned to the drawing board and made the necessary adjustments. They first developed a formula describing only the shape of a pear and then combined it with the current formula.

Calculates the shape of the egg, the length of the egg (L in the formula), its maximum width (B), how far the thickest part of the egg is from the center (w) and the desired diameter of the egg over a quarter of the total length (d)L/4). eggs, right?

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The new universal formula for describing the shape of an egg. Photo: Narushin et al. (2021).

Precise work

The creation of this new formula allows scientists to better understand not only what the egg itself looks like, but also how and why it was formed. “Mathematicians try to describe the world in formulas,” Karmaker explains. “It is preferable that the equation not only provides a very accurate description of what we have actually measured, but also has a predictive value.”

In other words, the formula not only describes all the eggs we encounter in nature, but also shows what forms of eggs are still possible. “This allows biologists to create new models of egg development,” Karmaker says.

The Gherkin building in London is based on the shape of an egg. Photo: Pixabay

The egg as a source of inspiration

These ideas are not only important to biology, but also to a myriad of other fields. After all, egg shapes can be found in all kinds of places. Think of the food industry, the technology sector and even Architectural Engineering and art. For example, effective hatching techniques for chicken eggs are precisely tuned to the shape of the egg. “If we understand why an egg looks the way it does, we can improve these processes,” Karemaker says.

also author Michael Romanov, a geneticist at the University of Kent, shows optimism in press release About the study: This formula emphasizes the importance of harmony between mathematics and biology, and may lay the foundation for a better understanding of our world. And all of this is neatly arranged in the shape of an egg.

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