living

EarthTalk – Can bioluminescence be used for everyday lighting?

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Dear EarthTalk:

Is there any way we could harness the light from bioluminescent organisms for everyday lighting and other practical purposes?

-- M. Wilson, Framingham, MA

Bioluminescence--defined by Merriam-Webster as "the emission of light from living organisms (such as fireflies, dinoflagellates, and bacteria) as the result of internal, typically oxidative chemical reactions"--is one of the wonders of nature that just about any of us can witness.