For my sci-fi notes, I’m truly to figure out if the glycome of an alien allergic or intolerant to sugar would have a glycome worthy of study, that would be different. I’ve been researching all day but I cannot find anything saying if there is a correlation between consuming refined sugar and a different glycome

So basically my question is that if a living being was highly sensitive to sugar; would that mean their glycome is different?

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    $\begingroup$ Could you link to some resource describing what you mean by "glycome", or otherwise describe it? For example, what is missing from the wikipedia page? Also, what does "worthy of study", or "different glycome", mean in your question? $\endgroup$
    – Maximilian Press
    Oct 21, 2022 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ Well it doesn’t talk about if sugar the way we know it has anything to do with it. The glycome is like the genome except with the complex sugars in the proteins that make up our body. My main focus is futurism and glycology is an emerging science $\endgroup$
    – Max
    Oct 21, 2022 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ I'm aware of and (somewhat) familiar with glycobiology. (Why is it emerging? It's been around for decades- though not really relevant here.) What is "sugar the way we know it" or "having anything to do with it"? Glycobiology involves a massive number of different sugars, of which sucrose is only one. It would be pretty unsurprising for an alien to have a different glycological complement, if it were of a similar background elemental composition and from a similar climate. Throwing unfamiliar compounds at organisms can always lead to issues! So it would be unsurprising is sucrose hurt an alien. $\endgroup$
    – Maximilian Press
    Oct 21, 2022 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ If the creation of fictional worlds (and their contents) are of interest to you, then check-out our sister-site Worldbuilding. Please take their tour and read up in the help centre about how to approach asking questions before you post, as you should on any site on the network.. $\endgroup$ Oct 21, 2022 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ You're talking about an alien life form, is that correct? And you want real science to back it up? There's a tad of irony there, as we have not encountered any alien life forms as of yet. However, I can state with a fair amount of certainty that everything about an alien life form would be worthy of study, not just a glycome or an allergy. I mean, we're spending billions of dollars exploring Mars for (among other things) anything indicative of alien life. If we found it, would we fail to study it? $\endgroup$ Oct 22, 2022 at 2:39

1 Answer 1



Are they an alien? If so their biology is either different from Earth biology, in which case it is worth studying. Or their biology is the same. This is unexpected so is also worthy of studying.

Are they human? If they are more sensitive than everyone else on the planet, we have likely not seen this before, so they are worthy of study.

"Glycome" seems to refer to all of the carbohydrates of sugars in the body. It is a broad term. If someone responds to sugars differently then their glycome is of course different.

  • $\begingroup$ "We have likely not seen this before": four hundred million people in this world have diabetes. We have seen this before. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Oct 22, 2022 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I'm presuming this person far more sensitive than the average diabetic. More sensitive than everyone else on the planet even. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Oct 22, 2022 at 15:10