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Fact Check-Unfounded conspiracy claims about Department of Homeland Security and luciferase

Social media users are claiming that a patent for “fusion proteins containing luciferase” filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proof that the department is planning to use the COVID-19 vaccine as the “mark of the beast”.

Examples can be seen here and here .

The text in the posts read: “Dear Christians: why is the Department of Homeland Security filing patents for FUSION PROTEINS CONTAINING LUCIFERASE?”

Comments on the posts include: “So they can track you…..”, “it’s in the v aka the mark of the beast”, “They will kill us all”, “Mark of the beast” and “Explains the black lights going up around the country”.

Luciferase is an enzyme that produces light and is “naturally found in insect fireflies and in luminous marine and terrestrial microorganisms.” (here)

As explained here by National Geographic, “the chemical reaction that results in bioluminescence requires two unique chemicals: luciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein. Luciferin is the compound that actually produces light. In a chemical reaction, luciferin is called the substrate. The bioluminescent color (yellow in fireflies, greenish in lanternfish) is a result of the arrangement of luciferin molecules.”

Lucifer, according to many Christians, was a beautiful angel who defied God and fell from Heaven as a result. This theory is based on the book of Isaiah, which says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.” (here)

“Lucifer,” “luciferin” and “luciferase” all come from the Latin lux, meaning light, and ferre, to carry (here ). Despite their shared etymology, the compound and enzyme are not related to the fallen angel.

Reuters Fact Check previously debunked social media posts falsely claiming COVID-19 vaccines contain luciferin or luciferase here .

The patent mentioned in the posts is visible here and here . The application was filed by the Department of Homeland Security on Sept. 16, 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The patent says that “the polynucleotides and fusion proteins have biotherapeutic, diagnostic, and quality control applications in biotechnological, medical, and veterinary fields.”

There are many patents filed for luciferase (here ) and luciferin (here ), and none have relations to the fallen angel.

Rather, these chemicals are legitimately used in biological and medical research, for example to study gene regulation (here ) and in vivo imaging and cell viability (here ).

VERDICT

Misleading. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did apply for a patent for fusion proteins containing luciferase, but it is not related to the fallen angel Lucifer.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

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