Science Experiment: Denaturing proteins

Oliver Barnes | Science

Every month we’ll be bringing you the best in science with our columnist Oliver Barnes in ‘What’s the Matter?’. If you’ve got anything you want to learn about from space to spores then send us an email at! Now let’s get experimenting…


It’s super easy to change a protein’s conformation in space, in fact we do it everyday. Protein denaturing is the technical term but to you it’s just cooking an egg. Proteins are everywhere and we’re going to prove it!

Seeing some protein interaction is easy when you expose high protein items such as eggs or milk to extreme conditions like high acidity, high temperatures or salt. Here’s how:



All you need is…

1 cup of milk                     A sink

50 mls of vinegar            Coffee filters

1 lemon

2 containers

A strainer




  1. Put equal parts milk in each container
  2. Add the juice of the lemon to one,  vinegar to the other and swirl them until it’s all mixed in.
  3. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Filter the contents of each container using your coffee filters.
  5. Inspect!


All the white powder that is on the filter paper is something called casein protein. In this case we used acid to denature the protein and it became a solid.


This protein is important for growth and development, is easy to digest and is a high quality source of amino acids. But get a fresh glass of milk instead!


Average length of each human protein: 480 amino acids

300-101   400-101   300-320   300-070   300-206   200-310   300-135   300-208   810-403   400-050   640-916   642-997   300-209   400-201   200-355   352-001   642-999   350-080   MB2-712   400-051   C2150-606   1Z0-434   1Z0-146   C2090-919   C9560-655   642-647   100-101   CQE_Exam   CSSLP  

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