Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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4
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3answers
49 views

What are good structural and energy-storage molecules that don't release gas when synthesized?

Nicar is a carbon world (formed from a protoplanetary disk with more carbon than oxygen, so water is geologically unstable and the chemical environment is strongly reducing) with ammonia oceans and ...
6
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2answers
103 views

Aliens Using Both L and R-Amino Acids or Sugars - are they possible?

It's fairly common to see discussion of different chirality for amino acids and sugars whenever people ask for advice on plausible alien designs or biochemistry (e.g.: metabolizing left-handed sugars ...
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0answers
54 views

What would the waste product of respiration in a Si based life form be [closed]

What would be the byproduct of the respiratory process in a silicon based life form, we (carbon based life forms) exhale CO2 but what would a Si based life form exhale?
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8answers
2k views

Could silicon-based lifeforms eat carbon-based food? [closed]

Say a group of silicon-based aliens arrive on earth, would their bodies be able to extract any nutrients from carbon-based food?
-6
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0answers
46 views

Organic spacetime defects [closed]

My orgasnism made of space time defects . What powers would this organism made of space time defects have (i.e .like gravity manipulation,photon manipulation)?
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0answers
62 views

Electromagnetic physiology

An electromagnetic ray fired from the my organism mouth, the EM Beam is incredibly deadly to those on the receiving end as the beam’s magnetism is up to 1 quadrillion gauss and strong enough to ...
1
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2answers
81 views

Biochemistry of a sulfuric acid world?

Much like the Cannonball world with iron carbonyl seas, Stephen Gillett, in the book World-Building proposes a world with sulfuric acid seas and oxygen atmosphere, with life based on silicone (...
4
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2answers
101 views

Biochemistry of the Cannonball world

In his classic book World-Building, Stephen Gillett briefly describes a proposal for a "Cannonball" world, depleted in volatiles and with a large amount of surface iron, with life based on ...
3
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1answer
30 views

Molecular ecology for endogenous formamide formation?

Kind of a follow-up to this earlier question: How could formamide lakes form on an exoplanet? Suppose the problem of how to get an initial quantity of formamide is solved, and microbial life has ...
3
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3answers
500 views

How can a vampire produce T cells at home?

Let's say that there's a vampire that consumes human blood for a regular re-infusion of T cells - both a convenient way to explain why they don't need massive amounts of it (you only need a few, and ...
1
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1answer
506 views

Are there any physical or biological principles that could be applied to electrically ground the human body?

Exactly what it says on the tin: are there any physical or biological principles that could be applied to electrically ground the human body? This could take the form of genetic alteration, surgery, ...
5
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4answers
124 views

Is it possible for extraterrestrial plants to produce oxidants other than oxygen gas?

Oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis because photosynthetic organisms on Earth use water as the electron donor. However, the first photosynthetic organism emerged from ocean where chloride is also ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Are there any big showstoppers for this cold planet having a large ecosystem?

I have a question: what is the best way to get a outer habitable zone planet to have liquid water on its surface (and a complex biosphere) without having lethal amounts of CO2 or greenhouse gases in ...
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2answers
156 views

What material would my animal have to be reinforced in in order to fly at Mach 1? [closed]

My organism is a bird-like organism that lives on an earth-like world. My creatures speed clocked at mach 1. What material is my organism reinforced in in order to reach mach 1 just by flapping its ...
-1
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3answers
85 views

Bio chemistry to create heavy rain [duplicate]

My creature creates heavy rain simply by coming into contact with Earth’s atmosphere, its body producing several chemical compounds to produce this effect. What are plausible bio chemicals for my ...
2
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5answers
441 views

What are some biological electrical insulators that can be used as natural electricity-proof gloves?

I want to make a species that can grab and handle live electrical wires bare-handedly and be A-OK. What are some natural biological electrical insulators that can cover their hands thoroughly, ...
5
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3answers
104 views

How can I use sensory details to convey to the reader that something is being digested in acid? [closed]

I have a scene where a slime monster engulfs a person and begins digesting them by secreting acid. This scene is being viewed from the perspective of another person standing some distance away. I ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Hyper dense muscles

My organism has hyperdense muscles. This allows their type to generate enormous aerial force, some even able to cut things with their wings or generate G-force winds. What materials is their wings ...
1
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2answers
106 views

What are the chemical characteristics of a chemical weapon that kills in the short term and melts biomatter into slurry in the long term?

This substance must: be usable as a chemical weapon (i.e. deliverable via bombs, shells, mines, grenades, canisters, mortars, etc., and won't explode/denature/etc. when you synthesize it) within ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Internal polar system of my creature

My fauna has a mysterious internal polar system, which enables him to create an aura of voluminous clouds of absolute zero temperatures and summon torrential ice blizzards. What material is my ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Science of my creature super power

Geo-Ionikinesis: my creature is capable of generating plasmoid flames from thin air, not requiring the consumption of oxygen or combustible objects to maintain the flames. He has been seen being able ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Tough creature abilities skin

My creature has the natural ability to cause thunderstorms and heavy rain simply by coming into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, its body producing several chemical compounds and unstable ...
5
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2answers
164 views

Foamy scar formation

Imagine a world, a world several hundreds of light-years away which humans have promptly colonised. These interstellar pioneers land on the mysterious planet which they call home, only for them to see ...
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3answers
116 views

Extremely powerful jaws

How my alien creature jaws crush toughest metal alloys in our world with ease ? what structure could it need to produce such bite? and what materials is it possible reinforced that allows it to bite ...
2
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2answers
96 views

Biological furnace

My organism evolved to burn anything .But it is basically a biological furnace .IT works by incinerating anymatter within it .It could vent emit smoke from its vents like openings .But what could ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Attack mechanism [closed]

My creature attack was basically generated by releasing a stream of super-cooled and super-heated air at the same time which, when they interact with the addition of a strong gust of wind, generates a ...
3
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2answers
192 views

Infrared photosynthesis - how make it to work biologically and chemistry and composition of the process?

My creature is capable of obtaining energy from infrared radiation, especially the heat emitted directly by fire (essentially, the closest thing we have to a true "fire-eating" organism). ...
4
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1answer
67 views

How could my animal claws work realistically?

My animals can use its claws to crush hull of modern ships. It evolved on an earth like planet. It uses a chemosynthetic metabolism. My question is that what is the chemical composition of the claws ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Silicon carbide composite for bone [closed]

First things first, I came across this interesting article after which I stumbled upon this mysterious composite of an aluminium oxide and silicon carbide. Specifically stating this on wikipedia: &...
2
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2answers
93 views

What would the structure of a biological thermocouple be?

For reference: a thermocouple is a device that converts heat to electricity. What would an organic, naturally-evolved one that's part of a biological organism look like in terms of structure?
3
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1answer
123 views

How would a natural biological battery work?

Exactly what it says on the tin: what would be the structure and function of a naturally-evolved battery - i.e. a biological structure capable of storing electrical charge and powering an electrical ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Designing the most plausible space "dwelling" planimals

I'm a scientist of a colonised alien world in the far far future, on a planet which plant-derived insects and meat trees are keystone species in their biospheres. Let's say, I wanted to genetically ...
2
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4answers
137 views

How can a symbiotic bacteria affect psychology?

Let's say that I have a vampire. This vampire is engaged in a symbiosis with some kind of bacteria; this bacteria grants it increased blood oxidization, cancer-fighting abilities, improved neural ...
7
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4answers
156 views

Analog to water in rain

While on earth it usually rains water, it usually isn't a sight to behold. To spice things up, I would like the rain to truly remind its colonists that they're on an alien world. However, this ...
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1answer
107 views

What would the side effects of being a shapeshifter be? [closed]

In this historical-fantasy scenario, a major protagonist has been given the ability to transform into every animal species that Earth has and had offered, alive and extinct. (Which means if he wants ...
4
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3answers
114 views

How a living prosthetic would work?

This is a little bit hard to explain concept, practically some like a kind of symbiosis in which two organisms evolve together one get transport, almost free nutrients and relative security and the ...
2
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0answers
77 views

How a creature with "bio-radiocomunication" would work?

Animals exist that use bioelectrogenesis allowing for electrolocation. Is this so different from "bio-radiocomunication" that it would disallow animals to develop this ability? An animal ...
2
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5answers
215 views

How would a "Tesla tree" work?

At some point I heard about the concept of a "Tesla tree" - a tree or plant-like thing which is able to produce tension arcs strong enough to generate and hit nearby objects with artificail ...
12
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9answers
3k views

Why would an everything-eating fungus be unable to spread outside of Australia?

Let's say that Australia has been taken over by a hyper-aggressive fungus that grows on any biological life form larger than an ant. The stuff covers the entire continent, has subsumed every form of ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Biosolvents for Life

What biosolvents could, in theory, permit the emergence of life on other worlds? I have been recently looking through possible biosolvents and I have found a good number, but I am specifically looking ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Could a chemical be used to carry oxygen in blood that would also turn acidic when in contact with iron?

So, the general idea is this: A humanoid species' blood uses a chemical to carry oxygen throughout their system. When iron is introduced into their bloodstream by say, stabbing them, it results in the ...
1
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1answer
81 views

How would a humanoid entity with bones made of both bone and nacre differ from more conventional life?

Background: nacre/mother-of-pearl is a strong composite material produced by mollusks, with a greater compressive strength then human bone but a weaker shear strength. If an entity were to have bones ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Theobromine poisoning in an animal hunting a character

Background: theobromine is an alkaloid of the cocoa plant, and is the substance that makes chocolate and chocolate products poisonous to pet cats and dogs. I'm writing a story in which a character is ...
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0answers
63 views

How would an amorphous, chewing gum-like retainer work?

In my setting, a cheap and effective (since it doesn't have to be custom-fit to a person's teeth), albeit rather unpalatable dental health solution is the amorphous retainer: a blob of non-toxic putty ...
2
votes
3answers
400 views

Insectoid creature that changes from solid to liquid and vice versa, how would this be possible?

I was thinking about the concept of a little relatively simple creature with a maximum size of a few centimeters such as some beetles but with an "intelligence" similar to ants, with the ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

What are some biological non-Newtonian fluids that can be used as shock absorbers?

A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that does not follow Newton's law of viscosity, i.e., constant viscosity independent of stress. In non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity can change when under force to ...
3
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3answers
718 views

A reality check on blood viscosity decreasing under high temperature

Is blood that decreases in viscosity as it increases in temperature plausible? It's supposed to be a biomodification that decreases the amount of energy the heart needs to put in during strenuous ...
2
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0answers
68 views

Ammonia-based Nitrogenic Photosynthesis [duplicate]

How would photosynthesis work if it used ammonia as a solvent and was nitrogenic as opposed to water-based oxygenic photosynthesis? Ammonia is a basic solution so it might need some other kind of ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

What are some substances that paralyze voluntary muscles in the human body but not involuntary ones, and do not cause any harmful side effects?

The title says it all. I'm not looking for things like curare, where it shuts down the lungs - I need something that basically turns people into ragdolls but otherwise leaves them unharmed. If such a ...
3
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2answers
71 views

How much energy would a hypothetical organism require to regenerate mild to semi-moderate trauma via pluripotent stem cells?

So, we have this heavily-altered human that can regenerate from stem cells. Let's say that they suffer a "flesh wound" - in this case, let's say an ugly stab wound through the hand with a ...

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