“Nanoparticles Make Turkey Eggs Tough to Crack”

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The Story

“Nanoparticles Make Turkey Eggs Tough to Crack”
by Jyoti Madhusoodanan
Nature, April 11, 2014

The Pitch

Pitch: Antimicrobial eggshells 
Australian brush-turkeys incubate their eggs where few might – in piles of warm compost. Though they face one of the highest risks of microbial egg infections among birds, the actual infection rate is fairly low at about 9%. This is in part because their eggshells contain nanometer-sized calcite spheres which are more resistant to bacterial attachment and penetration than chicken eggs. This might contribute to their antimicrobial defenses, and “provide inspiration for new biomimetic anti-fouling surfaces,” according to the paper. The results are published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology by Matthew Sharkey and colleagues from the University of Akron, Ohio.
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