Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

18
votes
5answers
4k views

Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

Iron based life

Lately I have been thinking about possible forms of life on planets that would have radically different experiences than here on Earth. I was wondering if life based on transition metals was possible ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

What could be used as an alternative to ATP in boron based biochemistry?

I have created a life form that is based on the element boron. As a substitute for DNA it instead uses Diborane as a building block. I've come across a problem however that I can't seem to get around. ...
10
votes
3answers
106 views

Chemical process for a radiosynthetic Ganymedian organism?

I'm trying to build an underwater ecosystem under the ice crust of Ganymede. I know Jupiter emits a large amount of ionizing radiation and synchotrons and thought that would maybe be able to replace ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What changes to the brain would occur in a werewolf transformation?

With typical modern depictions of werewolves (ie: turning into wolf-human hybrids) the victim suffers temporary amnesia and a loss of personality while transformed, is put into a state of extreme ...
-5
votes
1answer
81 views

Which are the things like that, which have or has that effect(i. e., death or else 100% confirmed permanent paralysis for sure for life) like that? [duplicate]

I want to build a world but an element of the world is causing me problem and that element is that I need such a "thing" or a group of the "things" with which a person laces a food item of a "STRONG ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

Why do demons heal faster than angels? [closed]

Angels and demons originally came from the same source: the creator. God filled his angels with his essence during their sculpting, giving them powerful and immortal bodies. Their physical forms ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Can you tell me which are the things or the group of the things that the character of my story can use to paralyze his elder brother? [closed]

I am writing a fiction story. In that story, a man paralyzes his elder brother by lacing one of his food items, for example, milk or any other thing which he eats with a "thing" or a group of the "...
8
votes
2answers
169 views

Security against “truth serum” by means of a drug poisonous in combination with sodium thiopental

The secret police of my fictional country (unoriginally) uses sodium thiopental in medical interrogations, usually in combination with various forms of physical torture. An antagonist (a courier of ...
9
votes
1answer
135 views

A reciprocal metabolism is needed on a world overrun by crazy plants

In this paper by Bains et al, an alternative to oxygenic photosynthesis is discussed. Apparently, 4 times the amount of biomass can be produced using hydrogenic over oxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

How could my humanoids metabolize smoke?

I have a species of humanoids that spends a lot of time around fire. They are able to spark their own fires, and they have a reasonable fire resistance. One problem presenting itself is smoke ...
8
votes
2answers
482 views

Would Earth plants grow in an alien environment?

This is a second question about the same world described in this question about human reaction to an alien world. So here's the idea: human beings travel to and land on an Earth-like world with the ...
9
votes
3answers
259 views

What would be the human physiological reaction to an alien biosphere?

This is the first question about colonizing an alien world; the second question on agriculture on this planet is here. So here's the idea: human beings travel to and land on an Earth-like world with ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Human Blood Reactivity on an Alien Species' Skin

What would be a valid reason for human blood/sweat/body fluids being toxic/harmful/caustic to an alien species' skin? What would the aliens' organic biochemistry be like and what would their DNA be ...
1
vote
4answers
350 views

Which are the poisons which make a person do things they wouldn't ordinarily do?

I have read unlimited news in which a person has knowingly laced the food items of a person with something to make him mad to fulfill an ill purpose like succession of property, frustration due to ...
0
votes
3answers
258 views

How is petrification by venom scientifically plausible?

In my book series (link here), there is a character named Rhys. Rhys is a highly mutated wasp whose mutation gave him the following benefits: His armor is immune to most of the medieval-style weapons ...
6
votes
3answers
399 views

Plausible materials/chemicals for a sentient blob creature to be made out of

In my book series (link here), there is a blob creature (lime-green in color, has a radioactive glow, is sentient, has a bizarre and uncanny intelligence level (has the emotional intelligence and "...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Would these metabolisms be realistic for this ternary system?

First question: Would this simplex ternary system be stable? If that question turns out to be yes, how would an organism based on carbon tetrachloride use the energy types below to provide enough ...
8
votes
2answers
220 views

What type of acid could burn through skin and any type of metal?

This is my first time using this site and i'm excited to get answers to roadblocks that have prevented me from finishing my writing in the past. However, you may have to excuse some mistakes I make ...
13
votes
5answers
413 views

How might kinetosynthesizing “plants” look?

Suppose that there is a moon, orbiting a gas giant, and that gas giant is a rogue planet - it moves freely through the universe, unbound by the gravity of a star. This means that one, the moon will ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Non-detrimental psychoactive drug

Drug abuse is becoming more and more serious in my (made-up) country. A researcher team is now working on a new drug called Biological VR which has the following properties: The drug is a ...
-3
votes
1answer
149 views

An Organic Polymer that can be hardened into a glass like substance?

Continuation question from this: The Biology behind a slime that uses hydrofluoric acid to disable and digest prey. I've designed a slime that has a bunch of acids and non reactive polymers in its ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

The Biology behind a slime that uses hydrofluoric acid to disable and digest prey.

So I've been working on a low magic world where magic is actually just another form of energy that can be actualized, similar to alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist. Although development has taken a ...
-2
votes
2answers
103 views

Made of Metal: effects on society? [closed]

Writing a story about a civilisation of humans with either metal a) skin or b) skeletal systems. Setting: 1800-1900s on a fictional land that has both desert & rainforest. I felt the Middle-East/...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Boron based life- blood

I've been working on the anatomy of my boron based life using alternative biochemistry. But I've recently came across a problem that I can't solve on my own. In oxygen breathing life on earth, the ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Ammonia planet- atmosphere

On my previously asked question about the biochemistry of life on my ammonia. it leads me to my next question to ask. First things first, the life on this planet is boron based. They breathe methane ...
7
votes
4answers
631 views

Ammonia planets

In an alien atmosphere, where methane is the main gas instead of oxygen and ammonia is the main solvent instead of water. Similar to how photosynthesis on earth plants work, by taking in carbon ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Are plastic plants plausible?

Edit: some answerers seem to be slightly misunderstanding the nature of the premise. Remember that the concept here is this; In the Precambrian of Earth, bacteria evolve to extract the abundant ...
50
votes
6answers
6k views

Could Cobalt bind to nitrogen the same way iron would to oxygen in an alien respiratory system?

I'm making this whole other alien world and I made it an ammonia world, so there is a lot of nitrogen in the atmosphere. Would nitrogen be a good gas to breathe in an ammonia world and would Cobalt be ...
0
votes
3answers
252 views

A chemical other than alcohol that lowers inhibitions

I'm looking for an existing drug or chemical that most closely matches the following criteria, which will be listed from most to least important: lessening of social and moral inhibitions doesn't ...
14
votes
2answers
552 views

Regrowing body parts: What are the costs?

Everybody has seen superpowers like superstrength, flying, and regeneration. While flying and superstrength are quite straightforward regarding the energy cost, regeneration is not. In this question, ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 9: Temperature control

Previous questions here: Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 1: Skeleton Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 2: nervous system Creating a scientifically ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

Chlorine Trifluoride-producing microorganisms

Quick Context Basically I need one of my charaters to produce a lot of chlorine trifluoride, but human biochemistry wont allow that, so I was going to get a micro-organism to do the job and produce ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Chemoautotrophs and human edible food? [closed]

Autotrophs are lifeforms that consume simpler molecules than the large protein, carbohydrate and lipid molecules that heterotrophs like humans ingest, these large molecules are made by autotrophs and ...
4
votes
2answers
182 views

Can a large animal get nutrition from minerals?

Lithotrophy is a phenomenon known from microscopic life, where an organism converts inorganic substances, usually minerals, into energy. So, we know that a single-celled life form can do this, but ...
7
votes
4answers
277 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 8: Communication

Previous parts here: Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 1: Skeleton Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 2: nervous system Creating a scientifically semi-...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Mitocondrial Density in an arthropleura on steroids

Context In one of my stories I am having a villain try to bring back the beauty of the giant arthropods in the Carboniferous period by genetically engineering his own personal, mega-pseudo-arthropods....
6
votes
3answers
219 views

How do I change the color of my alien's feces?

I apologise in advance for the graphic nature of this question. I guess it just had to be asked. I am looking for a way to make the feces of my alien vertebrates some color other than brown or green....
1
vote
3answers
170 views

How could a humanoid baby glow from hunger?

I assume whatever organs are used for the bioluminescence must be inside the baby's abdomen and specialized for bioluminescence and since the glow is gone entirely at 6 months, those organs must die ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Difficulty using an FMRI scanner with alternative neurochemistry? [closed]

FMRI machines are commonly used to allow direct observation of brain activity, and can be used for non-human animals. However in the case of an alien from a different planet, it's unclear how ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Replace sea salt with sugar, what happens? [closed]

A malefic wizard has announced to the world that tomorrow he will turn all diluted sea salt into sugar. What will the environmental effects be?
-9
votes
4answers
151 views

Can we produce Iodine element? [closed]

Can we produce Iodine element that is different from Iodine in salt? (The Iodine should be a new production and not made from separating other chemical compounds). If we can produce this element, is ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

non muscular rapid color changing

I have this alien race of amoeba-like creatures about the size of humans with the ability to morph their shape and move by constantly making and dissolving muscles by manipulating their membrane and ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What would be an actual real life mechanisms of an accelerated healing factor?

I'm writing a rough sketch for a book about a world where people sorta violently and suddenly get barely working superpowers. That is every time each person uses their power they run the risk of ...
6
votes
3answers
117 views

What design considerations would there be for a space ship using low-tech bioregenerative advanced life support and propulsions systems?

The ships would be permanently extra planetary and manned by 4-5 crew. All life support water, food, oxygen and propulsion being produced by bacterial cultures (not necessarily the same). With all ...
12
votes
6answers
361 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 6: Radiation protection

Previous parts here: Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 1: Skeleton Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 2: nervous system Creating a scientifically semi-...
8
votes
4answers
421 views

Could a cow produce bottled milk?

Could a cow produce bottled milk? The answer is, of course, no; there is no way a cow could do that; obviously. Perhaps I should be more clear on what I'm asking. Is there any way a mammalian ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Pancreas Chitin

Okay so I am making these arthropod looking humanoid mammalian species, so think of a human with armadillo armor and jointed sloth arms. And I have heard that the pancreas produces Chitin so my ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

How could I explain an alien species' non tool based plant manipulation without using magic?

I'm trying to find a way to explain an alien species' ability to control plants, specifically plant growth for crops, without it being 'magic.' So they can ensure the health and size of the plants ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Can humanoids be reborn from a tree?

Details: A culture of dryads has a strange death tradition. When a dryad dies there's usually a medic, or better say a "shaman" that rips a strange looking organ or gland off their head. The gland, ...