It also means "unboil" is now a word.
January 26, 2015 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Scientists unboil an egg, and it may be a big deal. "This method … could transform industrial and research production of proteins," Such as new, and much faster ways of producing anti-bodies to fight cancer and cheese-makers who could use recombinant-proteins to improve their products.
posted by quin (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
woah, they used piss to liquefy hard boiled eggs
posted by idiopath at 7:25 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's unclear from the abstract, but it seems like they unboiled the purified protein components on the egg white, not the whole egg or even the egg white mixture. I will wait for the sequel....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:28 PM on January 26, 2015


C-can they make it still be a chicken someday??
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:34 PM on January 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


It's pretty clear from the quotes in TFA that it was a proof of concept surrounding a specific protein, and framing it this way makes it easy to poorly explain to the masses while attracting eyeballs and investors.

WE UNBURLLED AN ERGG! Well, we de-denatured a protein, yo, and that's cool and all, but yeah, it's not as amazing as the tin would claim. I like the part about retrieving expensive protein goo stuck to the test tube. Duuude, don't waste that
posted by aydeejones at 7:42 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's unfortunate how scientists can be so precise and careful with their words, and yet you get something like this:
Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg," said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology & biochemistry. "In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order."
Motherfucker, you used the boiling of an egg as a process to collapse and fold one of its key proteins, and then figured out how to reverse that process with that protein. Do you want to teach people to be stupid and oversimplify everything? No, but dat patent yoe
posted by aydeejones at 7:44 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Egg whites cooking and milk turning into curds are the two examples of protein denaturing that most people are familiar with, in a parallel universe the article headline is about un-cheesing milk.
posted by 445supermag at 7:51 PM on January 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Pshaw. Call me when they can make a chicken cross the road walking backwards.
posted by azpenguin at 7:54 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Turning tofu into soy milk, using the active ingredient in urine.
posted by idiopath at 8:02 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, I'll have mine over-incredibly difficult. Brown toast. Sausage.
posted by angerbot at 8:03 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


pfft, Herve This unboiled an egg years ago.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sure, but you still can't unfry things.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:12 PM on January 26, 2015


...pharmaceutical companies currently create cancer antibodies in expensive hamster ovary cells that do not often misfold proteins.

I don't even...
posted by furtive at 8:25 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: WE UNBURLLED AN ERGG!
posted by uosuaq at 8:25 PM on January 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Not just any old hamster, but Chinese Hamster Ovaries.
posted by 445supermag at 8:45 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


If only they could unspill my milk. :(
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:52 PM on January 26, 2015


CHO, yo.
posted by maryr at 9:11 PM on January 26, 2015


For reals, renaturing enzymes is a huge part of protein purification and if this technique were easily generalized, my specific job would get easier.

On ther other hand, you know what we currently use for renaturing proteins? Urea and the aforementioned slow dialysis. So the urine angle is not the interesting part here. The interesting bit is the undoubtedly enormously expensive and not yet scaled "vortex fluid device". Also, there is a shitton of lysozyme in egg whites and it comes properly natured (as, y'know, shelf stable eggs). You want to impress me, show me the inclusion bodies you recovered that shit from.
posted by maryr at 9:18 PM on January 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


This would be the most restrained headline ever for the invention of a time machine.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:32 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


time machine headlines.... hmmmm.....

HITLER ASSASINATED!
Who the fuck is Hitler?
posted by kaibutsu at 10:14 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


azpenguin: "Pshaw. Call me when they can make a chicken cross the road walking backwards."

The moonsquawk.
posted by symbioid at 10:33 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


C-can they make it still be a chicken someday??

[Montage of lonely, late nights at the lab spent searching for full chicken recapitulation, set to "unbreak my heart"]
posted by clockzero at 10:43 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, call me when they can unscramble an omelette.
posted by dg at 10:49 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Somewhere Toni Braxton is reading such lexical arguments and unfrowning.
posted by Spatch at 11:20 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


...we can put Humpty Dumpty together again?
posted by Dreidl at 11:51 PM on January 26, 2015


I'm all in on the fight against cancer and cheese-makers.
posted by terretu at 1:42 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Unboil that dust speck!
posted by thelonius at 1:50 AM on January 27, 2015


collapse and fold one of its key proteins, and then figured out how to reverse that process with that protein.

is this folding of proteins anything like the folding of space that the navigators from the space guild do? do we need to start keeping an eye out for the kwisatz haderach?
posted by sio42 at 5:56 AM on January 27, 2015


This would be the most restrained headline ever for the invention of a time machine.

it's not a time machine, it's a 2nd law violating perpetual motion machine and you know what perpetual motion machines are... that's right, flying saucers!
posted by ennui.bz at 6:23 AM on January 27, 2015


If you wish to unboil an egg completely, you must lastly uninvent universe.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2015


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