Issue Date: April 28, 2014
Earthworm’s Glow Unearthed
In the forest soils of Siberia, there is a tiny worm that will emit blue light if given a little tickle. The critter, known scientifically as Fridericia heliota, gets its glow via the oxidation of a previously unknown luciferin compound facilitated by a luciferase enzyme. This is the same mechanism that many bioluminescent creatures, including fireflies and certain jellyfish, use to produce so-called cold light. To date, only a handful of luciferin analogs have been . . .
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