You can’t un-boil egg. Or… hang on a minute!

Popular Science reveals a way in which you CAN un-boil an egg:

When you boil an egg, the heat causes the proteins inside the egg white to tangle and clump together, solidifying it. New research published in ChemBioChem by scientists at UC Irvine shows how they can essentially reverse the clumping process by adding chemicals to a cooked egg.

“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” UCI biochemist Gregory Weisssaid in a statement. “In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold.”

And they didn’t just go for a standard 10-minute hard boiled egg. No, the researchers decided, just to make absolutely sure the whites were cooked, to boil the eggs for 20 minutes at 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding urea to the eggs untangled the knotted proteins by chemically breaking them into bits, returning the eggs to a liquid form. (Note: Urea is one of the main ingredients in pee, so these unboiled eggs are probably not delicious.)


Of course, the main thing they’re after isn’t uncooked eggs but ways to reconstitute proteins after they’ve clumped together, which could potentially have applications for everything from industrial solvents to antivenins.

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