I’ve been reading a lot of bollocks about Luciferase. That it’s a marker that glows under UV light and that it’s linked to Satan, all that stuff.
When I was working on my Honours project for my first degree (1980/81), I had the stinky project. I was working on the gut microflora of Eiseinia foetida, a type of earthworm that lives in compost heaps. Well, the career got gradually stinkier and much nastier after that but that’s not the point.
A friend of mine was working with a marine bacterium called Vibrio fischeri. He grew it in flasks on a flask shaker in an incubator room. When he turned the light off, there were all these rotating flasks giving off a green glow. V. fischeri produces bioluminescence in response to oxygen. How brightly it glows depends on how much oxygen there is, and that glow can be used to detect oxygen down to nanomolar concentrations. Of course, at that oxygen level you can’t see the glow, you need a photomultiplier and associated circuitry, but it really does work. I actually made use of that technique during my PhD, but it was a fellow student who developed it into a useful method.
This bacterium, and many other bioluminescent organisms, produce light using a compound called luciferin. It’s activated by an enzyme called luciferase. The enzyme itself does nothing without luciferin present, and luciferin is not activated without luciferase. UV light is irrelevant here. The mechanism produces visible light, it’s not activated by outside light. It is entirely dependent on oxygen concentration.
If you’ve ever been somewhere warm, even UK-summer warm, beside the sea, on a nicely dark night, you might have noticed a glow flickering through the water as it rolls against the shore. It’s usually called ‘phosphorescence’, and it’s the light produced by marine microbes when the water gets a blast of oxygen as it hits the shore. This is the luciferin/luciferase reaction. It’s perfectly natural and probably millions of years old.
Some say Monsanto or Pfizer or some other demonic company have patented luciferase. That’s not possible. It’s a natural material and can’t be patented. However, they might have patented a technique that makes use of it. I’ll come back to that.
Incidentally, I am also seeing claims of ‘luciferase’ on the swabs used for the ramrod-up-the-nose nonsensical tests. ‘Proof’ consists of running UV light over the swab and observing that the stick doesn’t glow but the cotton pad does. Cotton pads fluoresce under UV light. Try it with any cotton buds. It’s the cotton that lights up.
Now I’m not saying those cotton ramrods aren’t contaminated, there have been quite a few examples of what could be shoddy production techniques or could be deliberate, I don’t have enough reliable info to speculate on that. However, when you light them up with UV they will glow even if they are perfectly clean and sterile. Luciferase isn’t there, and if it was, it would be a waste of extracted enzyme because it won’t do anything – and won’t even last long – up your nose.
The ‘Lucifer’ link merely refers to the light produced in the reaction. It’s really not sinister at all. It’s been named that for a very long time and it was just some scientist thinking it was funny to name it that. Most of scientific research is unbelievably tedious so we do grab any chance to spice it up a bit. It really isn’t controlled by, nor in any way linked to, any demonic entity.
So, luciferase is nothing to be scared of. It’s an enzyme that catalyses a reaction with a compound called luciferin in the presence of oxygen and produces a rather pleasant glow. So, what nefarious purposes could it be put to?
Not many, really. Enzymes, especially when injected into a living organism, don’t tend to last very long. They are proteins and proteins entering your body are either regarded as food and dismantled, or regarded as invaders and smacked down by your immune system. Injecting yourself with luciferase is never going to get you that lovely Chernobyl glow. Even if it is active, it won’t be active for very long and with no luciferin to act on, it has nothing to do.
I really can’t see how Billy Gates Gruff’s ‘quantum tattoo’ can make use of it. If you want something invisible until illuminated with UV, this won’t work but there are many stable compounds that would. Still, it has become abundantly clear that Billy Gates Gruff is an idiot and there are many researchers out there who are more than willing to take full advantage of an idiot with a lot of money to spare.
The only possible way I can see it working in a quantum tattoo setting is if the tattoo contains a stable form of luciferin (not easy to do) and then you dab a swab of luciferase on it. Then it would glow on its own, no need for UV, in fact it would work best if your hand was in a dark box. It seems an unnecessarily complex way to go about things anyway. Surely it would be much easier to just use a traditional tattoo technique, or if you want to get all fancy, a stable fluorescent compound that will show up under UV.
I guess they are trying for something that can’t be easily faked by a backstreet tattoo artist but getting hold of V. fischeri is really not that hard (for someone like me anyway, I just need a jar of seawater). Isolation on agar is possibly one of the easiest isolations you can do – just look for colonies that glow in the dark. Extracting luciferin/luciferase would take time but I have the equipment here. Then I just need someone with tattoo skills and the pattern it needs to take. So it can still be faked and some of us would make an absolute fortune out of it 😉
I am getting to the opinion that the whole luciferase thing is a red herring, designed to get the tinfoil hats spinning. Sure, it might be possible to produce such a glowing mark, but really it’s far too much bother and far too unreliable to be much use at all. Luciferin is a protein too, that tattoo won’t last long. Then again, repeat application of medication does seem to be the modern profit model…
Really, I don’t think this whole luciferase thing is going anywhere. It feels like a handy distraction, the name alone gets people all worked up and the glow can be used to boost the creepiness factor. It’s never going to produce a reliably useful branding mark and there’s no need anyway. The chips are already ready to go, and have been in use for quite some time now. People don’t need to be coerced into it, they fight to be first in line.
As for curmudgeons like me, it might eventually be the case that if you don’t have a chip in your hand, you can’t get into shops, or onto public transport, or even start your car. That would be far, far easier to accomplish than some fancy biochemistry embedded in your skin.
They say the Devil’s greatest trick was convincing people he doesn’t exist. This time, I suspect the trick is convincing people that something imaginary exists, to distract them and keep them panicked over fantasy demons.
Meanwhile, the real demons continue unopposed…