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On a distant, habitable world, humanity has observed a biological marvel.

A creature that is primarily carnivorous, roaming its planet jungles and deserts, has been observed to be capable of manipulating almost every creatures biology on its home planet.

In nature the creatures looks fairly alien with blob like pustules that seemingly hold a clear yet slimy substance. If attacked these pustules will burst onto the open eyes nose and mouth of the attacking creature, and most likely any wounds, this will cause the creature to be startled and run away. The creature that has been covered in this mysterious has been seen to form purple like Calluses, which will later react to air, making it turn into a yellow like dust.

Scientist have tracked down these affected creatures, finding them either missing their limbs or dead due to having vital organs and the majority of their body turned into this mystery dust. It has been cataloged that the creatures pustules are filled with a substance that is actually so contagious, that entire ecosystems have been converted into dusty plains, resembling that of deserts. luckily this is extremely rare.

Scientist have also found out that in even more rare cases, some affected individuals will have grown extra limbs, which have been categorized as tumors.

Could such a creature feasibly exist, and if so, what conditions would be needed for its existence?

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  • $\begingroup$ converting entire ecosystems into dust does not sound that plausable. If its so contagious why does it need to fire this stuff at the face of other animals why not just stand upwind? There is also a limit to how contagious something is once it can be easily passed person to person and also caught by being dispersed in the air (and a single cell will cause infection) thats about it. $\endgroup$ – Slarty Jan 24 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like this creature is spreading a flesh-eating amoeba (or similar organism). $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jan 24 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Is the yellow dust set in stone? $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Jan 25 at 19:18
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It's nothing much different than how some infections already spread inter and across species.

Look at rabid animals: a bite and they can infect any other species via their saliva.

You are just changing the symptoms. What you need is a pathogen with the capability of infecting several target species.

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The cas9 protein is perhaps something worth looking into. This protein cuts DNA. This is used in the genetic editing of bacteria via the CRISPR method. This method is also slowly being accepted for the treatment of genetic conditions. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03018-0

This works by cutting DNA and then letting the body repair the affected gene either with the broken part. This either results in a restored or altered gene.

But here is the thing. What if this final step is inhibited by protein X in your creature? It messes up a creature's DNA and inhibits regrowth. Purple pustules can be explained by sub-dermal blood heaping (Granted we're talking red-blooded creatures.)

Unfortunately I don't really have a solution for your yellow dust there are but few organic compounds that'd turn out yellow, and most of them are synthetic to boot. In short, having your creature affect biology, sure, no problem. I'm just not sure about the specifics you've mentions, mostly the yellow dust.

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