Making Sense of Medicine: Biophotons: The light of life

In 1923, a Russian cell biologist, Alexander Gurwitsch, discovered extremely low-level ultraviolet light emitted from onions. He called this mitogenic radiation, and his work was used in diagnosing cancer. In 1941, he was awarded the prestigious Stalin Prize for his work. However, 500 failures to duplicate his research results led to his work being discredited. Later in the 20th century, however, it was taken up by his daughter, Anna, and by others. In the 1970s, German cell biologist Fritz Albert Popp coined the currently used term “biophoton” for this light. What is a biophoton?

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