Photo credits: The National Investors Hall of Fame
Emmett Chappelle (pictured), was a biochemist and inventor. He found that a precise chemical composition enabled a live being to create and transmit light.
Mr. Chappelle’s breakthroughs in harnessing the force of bioluminescence aided key breakthroughs in biology and chemistry. Chappelle was born on October 25, 1925, in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his M.A. in biology from the University of Washington. He also served in the U.S. Army.
Chappelle began researching the characteristics of light emitted by various biological species in 1963 while working at NASA. He discovered how chemicals give out quantifiable light when combined with materials containing living cells while in charge of constructing devices needed to collect dirt from Mars on NASA’s Viking spacecraft.
This was used to identify germs in urine, blood, spinal fluid, drinking water, and meals.
Chappelle has contributed to the advancement of laser-induced fluorescence as a method of detecting plant stress. Scientists may use this technology to estimate crop health and productivity depending on the quantity of light they produce.
Farmers and crop specialists can use this data to improve food output by adjusting planting, irrigation, and fertilization routines. During his lifetime achievements, Chappelle has aided in the advancement of technology by mentoring high school and college students of color. He was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2007.
Chappelle passed away on October 14, 2019, at the age of 93.