Chemists from the University of California Irvine and the University of Western Australia are making headlines after perfecting a method to unboil eggs using chemicals.
The scientists made use of urea, a chemical typically found in urine but also made artificially, to help return a hardboiled egg to its original liquid form and then used a machine to complete the process.
“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” said Professor Gregory Weiss, a biochemist at UC Irvine, adding “In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold.”
The urea substance is described as an agent that “chews away at the whites” of a hardboiled egg to liquefy the solid part and break down the proteins. Then the scientists pour the liquid solution into a’vortex fluid device’ to apply stress to the small pieces, helping them untangle and return to the original form.
Professor Weiss explained the potential benefits of discovering this process could lead to cheaper cancer treatments and savings for industrial cheese makers and farmers who work with proteins.
For more on this and the process itself, check out their study published in the journal ChemBioChem.