Adelaide: Can you unboil an egg? Well, Australian researcher Colin Raston can certainly do that! And for undertaking such an unusual and imaginative research, he just won the Ig Nobel.
Professor Raston from Flinders University in Adelaide got this prize for creating the vortex fluidic device, which can unravel proteins or "unboil" an egg.
Announced in early 2015, Raston and his team were able to use the device to unravel the proteins in the white of a hard-boiled egg, returning them to their active, clear state, according to Flinders University.
The Ig Nobels are awarded annually at Harvard University in honour of scientific achievements that "make people laugh, then make them think".
The achievement is particularly helpful to the pharmaceutical industry. "The global pharmaceutical industry alone is worth $160 billion annually and the processing of proteins is central to it," Raston said in a statement. "The VFD is completely changing it — and is set to do the same for the fuel and food industries. It’s impossible to place a price on the value of this device."
"It’s not what we set out to do, to unboil an egg, but it's the way of explaining the science involved and helping the wider world realise the momentousness of it," he added.