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The emission of visible light by certain living organisms, such as the firefly and various fish, marine invertebrates, fungi, and bacteria. Bioluminescence is caused by chemical reactions.

bi′o·lu′mi·nes′cent adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.bioluminescent - (of living organisms) emitting lightbioluminescent - (of living organisms) emitting light; "fireflies are bioluminescent"
organism, being - a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
light - characterized by or emitting light; "a room that is light when the shutters are open"; "the inside of the house was airy and light"
References in periodicals archive ?
The waters around Antarctica are home to some 16,000 known species, including whales, seals, albatrosses and penguins, as well as unique species of fish, sponges and worms that are bioluminescent or produce their own natural anti-freeze to survive in the region's chilly waters.
In this color illustrated overview for students and general readers with background in science, authors Wilson and Hastings (Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University) use a conversational tone to introduce the natural history, evolution, mechanisms, and biochemistry of the spectrum of bioluminescent organisms, from bacteria and fungi to fish, insects, and animals, and speculate on how we can harness them for applications such as investigating cancer and detecting contamination in food and water.
Travelers can stroll through historic Old San Juan, hike the El Yunque rainforest, bask in the sun on one of the many beaches and secluded islands, or kayak out to one of the spectacular bioluminescent bays.
Woodland Hastings of Harvard University observed the cellular control of the synthesis of luciferase, a bioluminescent enzyme that is expressed by the bacteria Photobacterium fischeri.
His research interests include the evolution and diversification of the bacteria-driven bioluminescent signaling systems in ponyfish, and the function of biofluorescence in marine fishes.
A kayak trip in one of only six bioluminescent bays in the world
The Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART), jointly invented by Professor Jim Murray of Cardiff University and Dr.
Cardiff University Professor Jim Murray, from the School of Biosciences, developed the bioluminescent assay in real-time (Bart) along with Dr Laurence Tisi of technology firm Lumora, a spin-out from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Tumor-targeted bioluminescent bacteria have been shown for the first time to provide accurate 3-D images of tumors in mice, further advancing the potential for targeted cancer drug delivery.
Bioluminescent bacteria glow in the ocean for the same reason roadside eateries display neon signs: They want to attract hungry diners.
Access to these unique lines dramatically expands Molecular Imaging's ability to apply bioluminescent imaging technology to a broad array of cancer disease models, including expanded capability in various leukemias, multiple myeloma, triple-negative breast cancer, glioma and melanoma.
In 2007, Huang participated in the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), where he investigated their collection of bioluminescent marine organisms.