Volume 85 Issue 51 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 17, 2007

Firefly Radiance Revisited

Department: Science & Technology

Researchers have co-opted fireflies' twinkle for experimental readouts in forensic, cellular, and other studies, but full details about how the insects glow remain unclear. Now, Yoriko Ando and Hidefumi Akiyama at the University of Tokyo and coworkers have used their recently developed chemiluminescence spectrometer to reexamine firefly bioluminescence (Nat. Photonics, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2007.251). The team assessed fireflies' luminescence quantum yield—that is, the efficiency of the insects' lanterns. The new, more accurate value is half of . . .

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