Updated 06/18/2012 04:09 PM
SU researchers produce light from fireflies
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- There may soon come a time when you don't need an electrical outlet or batteries to turn on lights. Researchers from Syracuse University are studying how fireflies make their own light in an attempt to reproduce that type of energy.
Assistant Chemistry Professor Mathew Maye says the firefly is ideal to work with because it is so bright. He has been working for more than a year with an enzyme taken from the insect. That enzyme combined with a chemical produced in the laboratory creates a glowing light.
Assistant Chemistry Professor Mathew Maye said, "It gives off a very bright burst in the first few seconds just like a firefly. Then it slowly decays over the time of 10 to 15 minutes. We're trying to work out how exactly to sustain that light."
In the lab, the light was orange, but Maye said other colors can be made.