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Department of Chemistry and Life Science : Determining the Sex of an Embryo

Determining the Sex of an Embryo

chem_research_embryo.pngFor every 1,000,000 hens laying eggs for human consumption, 2,000,000 eggs must be incubated, hatched and sexed. The current method for sexing the birds requires the chick to hatch, dry and be physically examined by a worker. Roosters are then discarded, alive. A spectrophotometric system will be developed that allows for the egg to remain intact while determining the sex of the embryo. Currently, we have examined the component parts (e.g. shell, protein, yolk) and are capable of measuring the concentration of the sex hormones. The next step is to examine whole eggs and confirm the spectrophotometric sex with the actual sex as determined by PCR.

Points of Contact:

Professor Michael Labare

LTC William Pearman