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Abstract
Bioluminescence is the production of light by living organisms. The biochemistry of light production is well understood today. Emission of energy in the form of visible light during a biochemical reaction is not a rare phenomenon in nature. There are numerous terrestrial and aquatic (both fresh water and marine) organisms that emit light. Two major types of biochemical reactions leading to bioluminescence involve enzymes called luciferases that catalyze oxidation of substrates (luciferins) by air oxygen or by hydrogen peroxide; and so called photoproteins, which themselves undergo transformation in the course of a bioluminescent reaction. There are two conditions are required for light emission to occur in a biochemical reaction: the energy released in the reaction should be higher than that of the electronically excited final or intermediate product; and the product of the reaction must be a fluorescent molecule so that transformation of the excited state to the ground state is accompanied by visible light emission, or the reaction mixture has to include energy acceptor molecule with fluorescent properties.
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CHAPTER 1
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