Scientists at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) say that by studying what they call an ‘unboiled egg’, they have discovered advance cancer treatments.
Long considered an irreversible chemical change, the researchers found a way to untangle the protein structure of boiled egg whites and refold them into their natural structure allowing the cooked egg to return to its liquid form.
The researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and Flinders University in Australia have figured out a process that can pull apart the tangled proteins, allowing them to refold and return to their original structure.
A process that basically unboils an already boiled egg.
Using eggs boiled for 20 minutes at 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius), they start by liquefying the rubbery egg whites with urea to rebuild the lysozyme.
Then, they put the substance through a high-powered vortex fluid machine where the shearing forces on the tiny pieces pressure them into untangling and returning to their original unboiled state.
It may seem like a mere parlor trick, but it is an achievement that could “dramatically” cut costs for cancer treatments, food production and other research in the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to a press release that was posted online Friday.
UCI has filed for a patent on the work, and its Office of Technology Alliances is “working with interested commercial partners”.
The results have been accepted by the journalChemBioChem and will be published next week.
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