Pair who unboiled an egg reunite to talk enzymes

The dynamic duo who won an Ig Nobel for unboiling an egg were reunited last week when Professor Gregory Weiss flew in from Southern California to speak with Flinders staff and students.

Professor Weiss from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and Flinders’ own Professor Colin Raston, began collaborating in 2013.

They were both part of the team awarded the 2015 Ig Nobel prize in chemistry for unboiling an egg with a vortex fluidic device (VFD).

Professor Weiss spent several days on the Bedford Park campus, and delivered a seminar on 6 October on ‘Making Enzymes Dance and Sing’.

He spoke about his work in the Weiss laboratory at UCI, which invents new tools for accelerating chemical reactions.

The lab directly wires viruses and individual proteins into electronic circuits, and electronically ‘listens’ to their singing, which occurs when the proteins interact with binding partners and substrates.

He also described a method which applies a VFD; Professor Weiss and Professor Ralston continue to collaborate on research projects with a VFD and have published a number of papers together.

In 2016 they contributed to the paper, ‘Accelerating Enzymatic Catalysis Using Vortex Fluidics, published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The technology developed by Flinders in collaboration with UCI allows enzymes to work up to 16 times faster.

Several PhD students from Flinders, including Joshua Britton and Emily Crawley, have also spent time in the Weiss lab at UCI as part of their studies.

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