Technology A Flinders Uni scientist has won an Ig Nobel Prize for working out how to ‘unboil’ an egg

A Flinders Uni scientist has won an Ig Nobel Prize for working out how to ‘unboil’ an egg

A Flinders University scientist has been honoured with the most notorious international prize in science, the Ig Nobel prize, for his invention which can at least partially ‘unboil’ an egg.

Flinders University chemistry professor Colin Raston and his team built a device, named a Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD), capable of unravelling proteins. To demonstrate its potential, they fed the device a boiled egg. In the process, they managed to unfold the proteins in cooked egg whites, bringing the egg whites back to their natural runny state. “Wow, did I really do that?” was Professor Raston’s eureka moment.

While the team didn’t not set out to find a way to uncook eggs, the unusual discovery has become a serious demonstration of the groundbreaking new technology, as it helps explain what the VFD does.

The global pharmaceutical industry alone is worth $160 billion annually. So, the VFD has been hailed as a potential game-changer as the machine can boost the potency of a common cancer drug fourfold, meaning better treatment with fewer side effects. In addition to applications in the treatment of cancer and pharmaceutical manufacturing, the scientific processes has significant global implications for the production of bio-fuels and foods.

On congratulating the team for winning the award, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling reminds us that “Discoveries such as this underscore the valuable role of universities in the research sphere and the importance of investment in research.”

[img source] Flinders University
The above story is based on materials provided by Flinders University