I am currently writing the world, setting and characters for a project of mine called the ORION Project - a story set in a dystopian America in the near future of 2050, where the government has taken complete control over its people, and doing anything to keep it that way. After a nuclear and energy warfare, an American energy research facility blew up, causing unknown radiation to spread across the continent.

But that's just the background of my story, and since it isn't that relevant to my question, I'll just jump to the important part.

On Earth, superpowered people have always existed, but these people were rare, and hid their powers as they had a human appearance. These people, were called Meta-Humans, or for short, Metas. But ever since the energy catastrophe, the radiations have altered the newborn Metas' DNA, altering their appearance and ability to hide their powers. Their appearance didn't look exactly the same as humans now, for example, markings, strange eye color or skin color could be found on them. Because of that, humans began raising suspicions, and so in the end, Metas were discovered by humans.

And so this is where my questions comes in. These newborn Meta-Humans were taken into government labs as kids to study their abilities. This project was called the ORION Project, and the sole purpose of the project was to study Metas and their powers, while trying to replicate those abilities on actual humans. And so the main character of that story is Astrid, a Meta-Human who was taken in at the lab at age 6, and stayed there ever since. Although her real name is Astrid, she is called by her code name 006, and her memory of her name was altered so that she wouldn't remember it. But that's besides the point. At age 6, Astrid came into the lab, and was experimented on in all sorts of ways, unethical or not. And so here is my question:

During one of the tests, Astrid is injected with a chemical that is usually harmless to humans, but that causes an unusual reaction for her, as a Meta-Human. Astrid possesses markings under her eyes and on her hands, that glow bright red along with her eyes when she uses her telekinectic powers, but also when she feels strong emotions. Inside these markings is an unknown orange substance that travels throughout her whole body thanks to an additional secondary system of vessels created specifically for the purpose of carrying this unknown substance around. So coming back to the tests, Astrid starts feeling dizzy and has an accelerated heartbeat, as well as a hard time breathing. Her arm feels numb and her markings start to glow for no particular reason. Since the scientists see the subject is nearing death, they have to remove the substance they injected out of her body, or at least be able to save her. My question is: Is it possible to do such a thing? I'd prefer an answer involving as much scientific accuracy as possible, regarding current knowledge about the human body, within this fictional scenario.

05/28/2020 Edit:

I did more research on each substance as well as giving them proper names. Here are those I came up with:

• Dynar - from latin -rupt (break) and greek dyna- (power). Chemical given through an injection to incapacitate a meta's abilities. (not used for this example but good to know)

• Prooxcyte - (substance injected directly into the subject's additional veins for the test and the cause of the subject's dangerous reaction) goes in the orange blood cell veins, reacts with the orange cells and makes the cells inflate, blocking the circulation in the veins. Subject's powers will be incapacitated, will feel emotional distress, will feel lightheaded and will start to suffocate if not treated as Subject will show symptoms of asthma as the throat will start to inflate. Subject can die of suffocation after 4 minutes. Big red marks can be found on her skin because of that, and the subject will feel numb in these areas.

• Antioxyte: anti- (against) ox- (growth) cyte (cell) Reacts with the subject's orange cells to make them revert back to their original size.

Treatment: Immediately put a breathing mask on the subject's face to facilitate breathing and avoid suffocation. Subject is to be injected antioxcyte which will revert the cells back in their original size. Immediately put the subject under dialysis to remove the substance out of her body. (Thanks to everyone who answered my question with different treatments, I selected those that seemed the best suited to heal the subject.)

I will also provide a better description of how Astrid's powers affects her body and how her anatomy is made for her to handle these powers:

Telekinesis: This is her main power. She is able to make objects levitate in the air just by looking at them. There are two variants of her powers. When using her eyes, she has more precision but less strength, so it is good for aiming but not for carrying heavy objects. Using her hands is the opposite, gives strength but not precision.

Basic Mind-Manipulation/Persuasion: When making eye contact with someone, she is easily able to persuade that person to do what she wants. This power works as a tool to convince and win arguments - she does not actually manipulate the person's brain so that she can make them move however she wants.

Her markings and why they're important: She has four red oval-shaped markings under her eyes, and the same markings on each one of her fingers. They glow when she uses her powers. Her red eyes also glow when she uses her powers. But moreover, these markings and eyes glow as well when she feels strong emotions. Astrid weirdly either doesn't show any emotions, or shows intense emotions where she glows. To make it short, she glows when she feels emotions. An orange substance exclusive to Astrid is located in these markings, but also in the rest of her body. This substance is spread across her body in additional veins and this is what makes her powers travel throughout her body, as well as pick up on her emotions and make her glow. The areas with the most of that substance are situated in her markings, eyes, and her brain, as her powers are mainly coming from her brain and high IQ. This orange substance glows but the glow is only visible in her eyes and markings, as the rest of the glow is hidden under her skin, although it can sometimes be faintly visible in total darkness.

Blood/Orange Substance: Her blood is not exactly the same as humans therefore she cannot receive blood from other humans. She must receive blood from another meta-human who has the same blood type as her. She is the only known meta with such an orange substance running inside her body, therefore they cannot take that substance from anyone else. Her parents were killed as she was taken into the lab, so they cannot use her parents in any way.

With this new information, I hope it will make it easier for you to answer. I apologize if some more scientifically precise details are missing, such as the molecular constitution of these chemicals. I do not have enough scientific knowledge as of now to provide more detailed information. I named these chemicals after Latin and Greek words used in medicine based on the chemical's function so let me know if the chemicals I created actually work or if they should be named differently or if I should make their purpose different. Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting setting! Whether hard science or science based, you're going to have to do a better job clarifying how the question can be answered. You say they experiment on Metas. How long? How much do they know about Meta anatomy & physiology & embryology? You say she's got "additional veins". Which of her three circulatory systems was the substance injected into? What was the substance? What are they trying to find out by doing this injection? Do they know it's dangerous to Metas? Lastly, I don't think you really mean "scientific accuracy" as much as "physiological or medical accuracy". $\endgroup$ – elemtilas May 27 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Removal in this case would hardly be possible, certainly not in a short time frame. (Dialysis typically takes several hours.) A better solution would be to have some sort of antidote that can be injected, as for instance with antivenom for snake bites, or epinephrine injections for serious allergic reactions to e.g. bee stings. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 28 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas Thank you for the advice. I have edited the question, and there should be enough information to make it easier to answer. By the way, the scientists would already know how to cure the subject before the test so that they don't risk the subject's life. They need her alive afterall. They are trying out anything that they find out is different in her body to a human's body, which is why they 'study' her. The rest of the information can be found in the edit now. $\endgroup$ – scriptyshake May 28 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the edit! My concern now is that you've actually written your best answer within your question! Supportive measures + antioxcyte + dialysis. Dialysis literally involves a semipermeable filter system that sucks the junk out of the blood via dialysate solution; so what you're saying is that you're counteracting & removing the chemicals from a Meta's body! Close vote retracted. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas May 29 at 0:15

Bloodletting and transfusion

Hopefully, it won't even get to that. It's what the liver is for, after all. In general, any foreign contaminant to your blood is removed by either the kidneys or the liver, though mostly it's the liver. Any kind of poison inserted into someone's blood will eventually be processed by the liver. If the subject isn't in immediate danger, then the best thing to do is to let the body naturally filter the toxin out. This has the added advantage of training the body in how to deal with this chemical, allowing you to slowly build up the subject's tolerance to it so you can use more tests.

If the subject is subjected to extreme distress, then, depending on the nature of the chemical, it's possible to filter the subjects blood using a dialysis machine of some kind. However, if this is an emergency, they may not have one on hand and furthermore, depending on the exact nature of the chemical and given that the subject already has unique chemicals within their blood, it may be impossible without prior tests to filter only the one you want, and you may end up doing more harm than good.

This might sound weird then, but the solution under these circumstance is straight up bloodletting, similar to a case of hemochromatosis. Allow the patient to bleed to remove the excess poison, and then give them a transfusion of healthy blood. Obviously, for best results, you'll want to use as similar blood as possible, not just from the right blood type, and preferably blood from a meta as well. Parents/siblings would be ideal for this. They did kidnap all the closest family to the subject, didn't they? I mean, that's just standard evil scientist protocol, kidnap the family in the event you need an emergency blood transfusion and/or organ donations.

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    $\begingroup$ Addition for the liver part: The poison/color will be probably engineered to bypass the liver. In that case all you need is some other molecule which binds to the color molecule so that the end result is picked up by the liver. Since the color is probably purposefully engineered it would not be far fetched that such a "clean up molecule" would not be engineered alongside it. Especially since it is far easier to get stuff picked up by the liver than to specifially bypass it $\endgroup$ – Hobbamok May 28 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ If they are evil scientists who think ahead, they might also consider blood self-donations. Take blood from their test subjects in regular intervals and put them in the fridge in case an experiment goes wrong and they need them. Might be useful because mutants might not be able to accept regular human blood donations. $\endgroup$ – Philipp May 28 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ The procedure in the last paragraph is actually a not weird at all. It is usually referred to as an exchange transfusion. It's not a very common procedure (due to the large amounts of donor blood it requires) but nevertheless a standard procedure. $\endgroup$ – Philipp May 28 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Philipp While that is a good idea, personally, were I an evil scientist, I'd balk to do that. True, the extra blood would be useful for this exact situation, but the trade-off is that the test subject will constantly be losing blood and consequently unable to perform to their maximum capacity on tests, Though I suppose that it's just a matter of preference at that point. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed May 28 at 13:33

There's three main ways we remove things from blood.

1) Supportive care so the body's natural systems can handle it. So, proper hydration and electrolyte balance, cardiopulmonary support if necessary to make sure the kidneys and liver get enough oxygen, and in some cases there are medicines that target specific contaminants.

2) Dialysis. The same thing they do for people with kidney failure. Dialysis can be done for years, but it's somewhat dangerous.

3) Whole blood replacement. This involves removing the patient's contaminated blood and replacing it with clean blood via transfusion. This is probably the quickest method, but transfusions can be dangerous.

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    $\begingroup$ [Citations required]? $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi May 28 at 3:26

If the chemical is carried by blood, a dialysis machine is a simple but effective possibility, assuming the chemical can be filtered.

dialysis, usually refers to hemodialysis: A medical procedure to remove fluid and waste products from the blood and to correct electrolyte imbalances. This is accomplished using a machine and a dialyzer, also referred to as an "artificial kidney." (https://www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11433)

If the chemical is metal-based, it may be combined with chelation, where another substance is injected so it can bind to the metal in the blood, thus allow it to be filtered by kidney, and either secreted via urine or removed by dialysis.

chelation (medical): a method of removing certain heavy metals from the bloodstream, used especially in treating lead or mercury poisoning. (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/chelation)

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"removed [or neutralized]" - 'Push Narcan!'

Commonly heard on medical drama TV shows when the patient is overdosing on opioids, which is its real world use. You'll have to invent whatever neutralizes 'midichlorians'.

Shortness of breath is usually at the highest level of concern during triage.

In Singapore it's a Priority Level 1 (P1). In the UK it's Priority 1. In the US it's Immediate - Severe, colloquially 'code red'.

If the oxygen supply is interrupted, the functioning of the brain is immediately disturbed, and irreversible damage can quickly follow. Consciousness can be lost within 15 seconds, and damage to the brain begins after about four minutes without oxygen.

Hypoxic brain injury, PDF, headway.org.uk

I don't think you'll have time for any other option than a fast acting drug, as I would think receiving the benefits of a dialysis treatment, or even to start a transfusion takes more than four minutes. [citation needed]

Naloxone (Narcan) begins its effect within two minutes when given intravenously, or within five minutes when injected into a muscle of appropriate size and location. Depending on severity, even that's often too late.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please elaborate a little on your answer, like how exactly this medication will help her and explain what exactly the level 1 means. At this point you're relying a bit too much on the links so if they're taken down your answer will loose most of its usefulness. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex May 28 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ If Wikipedia goes down, I think we're in trouble. However, obliged @ProjectApex $\endgroup$ – Mazura May 28 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ yeah I know Wikipedia is unlikely to go down until the apocalypse starts, but still the SE has a policy against answers that rely too much on links. Thank you for understanding $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex May 28 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ "Opioid overdoses happen when there are so many opioids or a combination of opioids and other drugs in the body that the victim is not responsive to stimulation and/or breathing is inadequate. This happens because opioids fit into specific receptors that also affect the drive to breathe." - Same with pneumonia; cause of death is not toxicity, it's asphyxiation. $\endgroup$ – Mazura May 28 at 15:51

1. Magnetic / Electric effects

Dialysis is a slow process. It would be critical to neutralise the prooxcyte quickly.

Under a magnetic field, tiny particles can clump together:

iron filings and magnet

Under electric current, chemical reactions can occur (like during electrolysis or the charging of a car battery.) This happens in addition to the obvious stimulation of nerves and muscles during electrical stimulation.

Either of these effects could result in the neutralisation of the prooxcyte. Various things could happen next, from dialysis, to natural filtration, to inert particles.

2. "Sacrificial" implant

Ships use a "sacrificial anode" to prevent corrosion on their hulls. It is a piece of metal that gets corroded instead of the hull.

galvanic anode

It doesn't have to work on the same chemical principle, but you could have some material that the prooxcyte will react with, resulting in a deposit on the material. Just do some quick surgery (ideally get it into a major artery), and let the substance react with it. Then remove it. It could be on a flexible plastic sheet or tube or some such.

The key here is that since it is a physical object it can be removed quickly when the procedure is complete.

3. siRNA

Is the prooxcyte itself siRNA, and then you inject siRNAiRNA [sic] to neutralise it? Hmmm...

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If you have people with telekinetic powers, get one of them to locate and extract the material from her body that way.

TBH, if you're going to throw in things like 'unknown radiation' then science isn't really an issue.

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Some times you can't eliminate a chemical from the body: you have to let the body eliminate it, usually through the liver (that's what the liver does: it modifies many substances into forms that are usable elsewhere, including the kidneys where their metabolites can be excreted).

If that's the case, and it's fairly common, you just need to treat the symptoms until the liver can do its job. The biggest worry is hypoxia, or not enough oxygen getting to the brain. That's usually caused by a drop in blood pressure. Short term treatment is something like naloxone, epinephrine, or similar. Maybe mechanical ventilation.

Another problem is acid/base balance in the blood or ionic imbalances. This causes things like the potassium balance to go off, which suppresses nerve impulses and that means things like, well, heartbeats stop. Countering that usually means intravenous bags with buffered solutions being pumped in containing various salts.

Some times you can replace one bad chemical with another less harmful one. For example, the treatment for methanol poisoning is intravenous ethanol. Yes, every party-hearty frat boy's dream: mainlining the hooch. Turns out ethanol will bind preferentially to the same sites methanol would, so if you get drunk fast enough it will stop you from going blind or dying from methanol poisoning. Do not attempt to verify this at home kids.

Once she's past the first hurdles, of course, there's always long-term liver and kidney damage to worry about.

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