I read that Japanese researchers have developed very sensitive camera that recorded bioluminescence in humans; is it possible and if so what is the mechanism behind it?

  • $\begingroup$ I assume blackbody radiation doesn't count? $\endgroup$
    – Shep
    May 8, 2012 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ We have more bacterial cells than eukaryotic cells in our bodies, so maybe some of them are bioluminescent? $\endgroup$
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 30, 2015 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


From the article you linked:

virtually all living organisms emit extremely weak light, spontaneously without external photoexcitation. This biophoton emission is categorized in different phenomena of light emission from bioluminescence, and is believed to be a by-product of biochemical reactions in which excited molecules are produced from bioenergetic processes that involves active oxygen species

They reference these two works. The first is a 1988 review from Popp et al. (1988):

Biophoton emission - Experientia 44:543–600. (sorry, I cannot find the link to a full text...)

Fritz-Albert Popp is the biophysicist who first developed the biophoton theory.

The second work they reference is by the same first author:

In vivo imaging of spontaneous ultraweak photon emission from a rat's brain correlated with cerebral energy metabolism and oxidative stress. - Kobayashi M, et al.

Finally, a search in Pubmed reveals various other articles by different authors studying different species.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .