The light of fireflies for medical diagnostics

In biology and medicine, we often need to detect biological molecules. For example, in cancer diagnostics, doctors need quick and reliable ways of knowing if tumor cells are present in the patient's body. Although such detection ...

Discovery of the missing link in evolution of bioluminescence

With bioluminescence—the process that makes fireflies glow—now a mainstay in medical research, scientists are reporting discovery of a "missing link" of its evolution, which represents one of the deepest mysteries about ...

Researchers show how railroad worms produce red light

A research group comprising Brazilian and Japanese scientists has discovered how luciferase produced by the railroad worm Phrixothrix hirtus emits red light. Luciferase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin ...

Bioluminescent substance discovered in Brazilian cave worm larva

An insect larva found in the caves of Intervales State Park, an Atlantic Rainforest remnant in the municipality of Ribeirão Grande, São Paulo State, Brazil, was initially of no interest to the research group led by biochemist ...