TECH

How To Unboil An Egg Method Developed By University Of California Irvine Scientists

28/01/2015 12:21 GMT | Updated 28/01/2015 12:59 GMT
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A radical breakthrough by University Of California Irvine scientists has developed a method to reverse the cooking process of a hen's egg.

Seemingly pointless, the technique could actually lead to a significant reduction in the cost of cancer treatments.

It may also help cheese production and could have applications in the biotechnology industry.

stephan kudlacek and professor greg weiss

Stephan Kudlacek and Greg Weiss developed the method for unboiling a hen's egg

When the egg is cooked, long strands of amino acids become tangled. Attempting to untangle them is a very difficult process, but the new technique produced by UC Irvine takes just minutes.

The eggs used weren't simply hard boiled, they were cooked for 20 minutes at 90 degrees celsius, but this can be undone with the addition of urea.

Urea is a main component of urine, and can turn boiled egg whites into liquid. The amino acids are then untangled using a vortex fluid device consisting of a thin glass tube spun at 5,000 rpm.

One of the main applications for the research would be to produce cheaper cancer antibodies, which are currently made using expensive hamster ovaries. This new method of unboiling may allow them to produced in much cheaper yeast or bacteria cells.