Abstract

Biochemically generated electronically excited states are ubiquitous in living systems and the light such states emit can be utilized to probe the underlying processes and activities involved. Aside from the well known and understood bioluminescence found in fireflies, bacteria, sea creatures, etc., there is a less well understood emission from almost ail animal and plant tissues, cells and organs characterized by its extreme weakness, ranging in intensity from perbsps a few to about 103–104 photons per second per cm2 of sample.1 These phenomena of ultraweak light emission which are closely related to the process of life and biological activities, called simply biophoton emission, seem to have no specific sources such as associated with visible bioluminescence. They are believed to occur rather broadly in nature in conjuction with many biochemical and biophysical processes and biological functions.1,2

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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