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No. 91: Jan-Feb 1994

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Some People Are Brighter Than Others

We broached the subject of human bioluminescence in SF#59 and Biological Anomalies: Humans I, where the major evidence was anecdotal in nature. It is now evident that we have missed an important corpus of laboratory results, in which the spectra and intensity of human radiation has been measured. For example, consider the following abstract:

"In measuring the output of light from the human skin, we estimated the total photon rates to be of the order of 170-600 photons/s/cm2 , depending on anatomical location. The light was strongest at the red end of the spectrum, but fell below detectable levels in the ultraviolet. Significant variations were observed between individuals in both photon rate and spectral profile. The photon rate also varied significantly with time for a single individual."

It is important to recognize that, although the flux of photons emitted by individual cells is very low, it greatly exceeded the flux of blackbody radiation at 37C (about 10-9 photon/s/cm2).

Measure of human bioluminescence
Photon count for one subject.
Experiments demonstrate that human bioluminescence originates mainly in body tissue, particularly skin cells, and not from skin bacteria or the blood. The authors of the present paper believe that the radiation comes from the "oxidation production of radicals."

(Edwards, R., et al; "Measurements of Human Bioluminescence," International Journal of Acupuncture & Electro-Theraputics Research, 15:85, 1990. Cr. M. Bischof.)

Comment. Recall that mitogenetic radiation from cells, long derided by the scientific establishment, has now been detected. See SF#73.

Look again at the rather obscure reference! If we only had time to search all of the scientific literature.

The book mentioned above: Biological Anomalies: Humans I, is described here.

From Science Frontiers #91, JAN-FEB 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987