J. Am. Chem. Soc. doi:10.1021/ja802404g (2008)

Microwaving enzymes that work best in hot environments can boost their activity at near-room temperature, find Alexander Deiters and his co-workers at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. They exposed several enzymes from hyperthermophilic organisms that function best at 90–110°C to microwave radiation that warmed the enzyme–substrate mixture to around 40°C.

Normally, the enzymes would have done little at 40°C, but the microwaves multiplied their industriousness at this temperature, in one case more than fourfold. Deiters and his team attribute the effect to a loosening up of the enzymes' molecular structures, caused by interactions of the molecules and the microwaves' oscillating electric field.