Bioluminescence and the future of lighting
But the more fortunate ones are the little creatures that exhibit the quality of “bioluminescence” or the ability to generate their own light. These organisms produce the enzyme luciferase, which interacts with a particular type of light-emitting molecule called a luciferin, and this combination produces light—much like a light stick where chemical compounds mix to produce a glow of light. It is a familiar concept to those who have gone night diving where plankton and jellyfish glow under the evening sky. Scientists say that approximately 90 percent of deep sea animals are bioluminous. On land, we have fireflies as the most popular bioluminescent creature.
The concept behind luminescence is very different from that of incandescence, where a lot of power is needed to create light. Because heat is hardly produced in the production of its light, bioluminescence has also become known as “cold light.”
What makes bioluminescence fascinating is that the animals themselves produce and use the light for attracting prey or fending off attackers.
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Written by: Isabel Berenguer Asuncion
Source: Inquirer Business