What came first: the chicken, the egg, or the crazy Japanese game show?
This clip from the Japanese TV show "Gatten” shows high school students growing chicken fetuses in a glass, with barely more than a fertilized egg, a glass, an incubator, and plastic film.
The experiment is a riff on previous scientific works that have demonstrated how to develop shell-less embryos. Although this isn’t the first time, the work in this video is featured in the Japan Poultry Science Association. In the study, they explain how the culture is fed calcium and water supplements and aerated with oxygen through the plastic's semi-permeable membrane.
The process allows you to watch the embryo as it develops through the incubation period. After 72 hours, you can just about make out the beating heart of the chick and the foundations of its circulatory system. Over the following days, the embryo takes a more recognizable shape, until day 21 when the chick emerges from “The Matrix”-esque fetus farm.
Of course, the eggs need to be fertilized, so you won’t be able to “grow your own chicken” from eggs you bought from the supermarket. So while you might not be able to try this at home, it's fascinating stuff.