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Okay, in a lot of pop culture, blood transfusions can give you superpowers. In Metroid, Samus Aran was given Chozo blood to enhance her strength so that she can survive Zebes' gravity. Zebes having a ridiculously high surface gravity of 960 g seems next-to impossible, especially if it's smaller than Earth. Unless there's a neutron star or something in its core that accounts for a large amount of its mass. As Zebes has a radius of .816 Earth radii, if it had Earth's density, it would have .544 Earth masses. Humans cannot move around in a gravity greater than 5 g, so let's say that Zebes has a surface gravity of 5.71 g, due to being about 7 times denser than Earth. Sure, there will still need for superdense material in its core, but that's far more realistic than in-game lore (which even uses incorrect units) suggests.

Zebes is made primarily of urthic ore, which we can assume to be a very lightweight, albeit very strong species of space rock. This is because it has properties that allow for massive underground caverns, and with building underground caverns, you want to prioritize strong, low-density materials. So, most of Zebes' mass must be packed into that superdense core. Anyways, Chozo blood has properties that if inserted into a human bloodstream, it will begin modifying their muscles and bones to be much stronger, so that Samus can survive the high gravity of Zebes unaided. Samus is 1.98 m tall, and weighs 98 kg, so her BMI is about 25, so she's mildly overweight. So, either she has a slow metabolism or the strengthening of her muscles and bones increased her tissue density a bit.

What I'm asking is, "What biomechanism would allow you to increase a human child's strength to superhuman levels if you stuck some bird blood in her veins?" I know that the Chozo blood had to affect Samus' DNA, so that it would code for her to be strong enough to not have to be knighted Dame Breaksbonesalot just from walking on her adopted homeworld's soil.

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    $\begingroup$ I've assumed in my answer that the Chozo and Samus are only examples. We don't answer third party questions on worlds. $\endgroup$ – Trioxidane Feb 12 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ If you're looking for a canonical answer then a better place for this question would be our Science Fiction & Fantasy stack. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Feb 12 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ Nitpick: BMI has little value, and was invented by a racist jerk for racist jerk purposes. That's why you're getting a slightly unexpected result. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 12 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ I'm maxed out on points for the day, but self-replicating nanites could do this. They don't need to rewrite DNA, just build developmental markers OR physical rebuilding the tissue with native tissue/proteins to eliminate compatibility issues. Best if the nanites "know" human or at least terrestrial biology, or the result can be weird. They can also directly do things normal biology won't do. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Feb 12 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ My answer to this question pretty much covers the nanite version. worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/177004/… $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Feb 12 at 17:44
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Virus, bacterial enzymes and coincidence or setup

To change someone's properties on a cellular level it'll be easiest to change the DNA. To change the DNA you can use one of the following:

  • A virus that replaces target DNA sequence in your body with it's own.
  • An enzyme that can cut and replace target DNA sequences.

A virus is generally self serving and it's unlikely that in another organism it'll replace DNA that suddenly alters the makeup of her muscles and bones. The enzymes I talked about come from bacteria their immune systems and are more likely to give the desired effects. This is something they try with the CRISPR-CAS methods in the current day. Still, it's not very likely.

However, the Chozo in the example were very adept at DNA engineering. That means they can do some things beforehand that we can only dream of.

If you would like to improve some creatures with your DNA you'll need to have a lot of these enzymes or virusses. This is required for each individual cut and replace in the DNA they'll do. That means if you require 3 different cuts to improve bones, you'll need three kinds of viruses or enzymes. Moreover, if the sequence isn't exact, it will often not work. Genius DNA engineers might find a way, but then you still require enough of each in the body to change the full body.

Instead of injecting enough of each DNA changer inside the blood and hoping it'll do it's magic on the full body before it expires, you can setup factories. You infect a smaller number of cells that are converted into factories, much like viruses. They are set to create the required virus or enzymes, making sure the whole body can have the altered DNA.

The origin might come from their own meddling with DNA. If you change it for the better, someone else can change it for the worse. To prevent this, they'll have a few cells or a small organ in their body that produces these enzymes or viruses in addition to their immune system. If the DNA is changed, the body will correct itself. This might immediately prevent aging and cancer for example.

The DNA changers might do their work automatically when injected into a human. However, it is more likely to be orchestrated. Some of the DNA changers are put into the blood beforehand, so an encounter with a worthy human will only require a blood transfusion.

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It depends on how you define superhuman powers.

Transfusions are already used to improve performance at endurance sports... see blood boosting and autologous blood transfusions. Clearly, being able to compete with the likes of Lance Armstrong is at least a little bit superhuman.

Similarly, things like young blood transfusion show all sorts of interesting medical benefits, which ancient and wealthy vampires like Peter Thiel apparently benefit from.

Clearly, one does not need to completely rejig someone's DNA in every cell in their body to improve things. Mechanisms already exist to increase muscle mass, and blood oxygen carrying capacity, and bone density and so on... triggering existing biochemical pathways to turn someone into the Credible Hulk is eminently possible. Pushing those mechanisms into overdrive to make someone able to trot around in a 6G gravity well without breaking a sweat or a leg, though? That would be rather less credible.

Injecting non-human blood though? That just sounds like a recipe for death by anaphylactic shock. What was injected might have looked or seemed like blood, but was more likely a human (or person) specific infusion of suitable chemicals, modified cells, viral vectors, nanomechanisms, engineered protozoa, what have you... things which are intended to have a beneficial effect, rather than some kind of weird renaissance-era type "lets try something crazy and see what happens!" science experiment likely to end in swift, painful and messy death.

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