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Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy.

Bioluminescence may be generated by symbiotic organisms carried within a larger organism.

It is generated by an enzyme-catalyzed chemoluminescence reaction, wherein the pigment luciferin is oxidised by the enzyme luciferase.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is involved in most instances.

The chemical reaction can occur either within or outside of the cell.

In bacteria, the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon.

Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life is estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another.

Most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light spectrum, the wavelengths that can transmit through the seawater most easily.

However, certain loose jawed fish emit red and infrared light.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Bioluminescence", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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September 1, 2015

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