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Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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Abiogenesis as anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic life

Given the presence of geologic activity, hydrothermal vents, and extended time -- can/will life originate as entirely anaerobic and chemolithoautotrophic? I apologise if this question has already been ...
Aster's user avatar
  • 357
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

How do floating plants get their trace nutrients?

The planet is a cold ammonia world. Its ocean is mostly made ammonia, with some traces of ices (mostly water ice) at the bottom of the ocean. The ambient temperature is 225ºK, and the pressure is 4 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,544
3 votes
2 answers
181 views

How plausible is a Cryovenom?

In my science-fantasy world there is a creature that secretes a venom (called a cryovenom) whose proteins catalyze a spontaneous crystallization of the water inside the interstitial fluids and ...
Chromatic Realms's user avatar
14 votes
16 answers
3k views

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

On the world of Ruquelis, the combination of reincarnation and the drug Hialutabu allows the inhabitants to do some truly awful things to each-other and justify it to themselves as good. Hialutabu is ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
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11 votes
10 answers
4k views

Is this super soldier viable and grounded?

Below is a excerpt of a set of notes that I have compiled that is the basis for a science fiction story that I am writing. I have spent a fair amount of time trying to come up with a close/hard/sci-...
TheWookieeBreath's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
781 views

Feasibility of a bio-engineered, floating tree lifeform in the Venusian atmosphere?

Would it be possible, given many advances in genetic engineering that today remain speculative, to design a lifeform capable of withstanding the hostile conditions of the Venusian atmosphere? I'm ...
Aeolian's user avatar
  • 71
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Could an organism breathe SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) and reuse the sulfur atom for bones made of S8 (Octasulfur) and AlO3 (Aluminium Oxide)?

Problem Background I want animals on my fictional planet to use 6 SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) instead of 6 O2 (Oxygen) to react with C6H12O6 (Glucose), to make 6 CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), ATP, 6 H2O (Water), and ...
PeanutbutterCat's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
4k views

Will it be possible to prevent cancer by introducing ECC on genome?

Could it be possible to drastically improve DNA repair capabilities by introducing error-correcting codes into the human genome? Would it be feasible to reduce the probability of cancer while slightly ...
Tentacles3587's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
163 views

A Better Genetic Polymer?

This is a long one. (TLDR at the bottom) The prospect of alternative genetic polymers has attracted the interest of people for almost as long as we have known about DNA. Indeed, many alternative ...
Baron_vonCernogratz's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
563 views

How could an alien race convert an Oxygen-Nitrogen atmosphere into a Methane one?

For a story I'm working on, humanity meets an alien race of aggressive methane breathers, whose technology is as much biological as it is mechanical. When they locate a suitable planet for ...
Hewholooksskyward's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
261 views

Xeno Nucleic acids on an ammonia planet

Background I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,544
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Chlorophyll-alternatives for plants in an Ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved water ice, ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,544
3 votes
1 answer
126 views

How could a Massive Animal Thermoregulate?

In my world, there are massive vertebrate creatures that live on the planet's savannahs and rainforests. Alongside others that live in the frigid south pole and deep in the ocean trenches. I'm ...
New_Archaeoceti_325's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Combining a electrocyte and a muscle fibre

Basically the title itself. Is it possible to combine the function of a electrocyte and a myocyte, such that muscles double up as electric organs? Electric organ Myocyte Observing the anatomy of a ...
Baron_vonCernogratz's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
375 views

Can a vampire carbonate serum to make blood soda?

I have a vampire. Said vampire would like a drink. But they're bored of their wine and their raw blood, and they'd like to try something more processed. You only die once, after all. Now, blood doesn'...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
1 vote
1 answer
181 views

What chemicals could convert CO2 into oxygen within a living organism?

I'm trying to create an original species within semi-realistic biological constraints. I need a way for a giant (7-8 feet long) arthropod to convert large amounts of CO2 into breathable oxygen for ...
Brimstone's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

Is silicon-based blood possible?

I'm building a project featuring several very exotic alien worlds, one of which I had a question about the blood of aliens since the amount of Metals like iron are scarce, so I opted for something ...
M. S. Cancris 's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
526 views

Could alkaline digestive system work?

So a human digestive system is generally acidic, especially at the stomach part, when it goes down to even 1.5 pH. Similar things must be happening in other mammals and to an extent, probably in all ...
Yulian's user avatar
  • 462
0 votes
1 answer
206 views

How long would someone last in excruciating pain while assisted by chemicals?

My setting is just like the real world, except for a twisted Excess God. Who demands rituals to exacerbate its Worshipers feelings, which he in turn feeds on. There's just a problem, these rituals are ...
Or4ng3h4t's user avatar
  • 470
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Could You Use Mitochondria to Power Your Cell Phone?

Halfthawed replied to vicky_molokh in 2019 regarding her question associated with External ATP Synthesiser Plausibility. Halfthawed stated: ATP is kind of already synthesized by battery power. In fact,...
Englishman Bob's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
335 views

Ammonia transporting blood

Okay essentially I am designing an alien ecosystem with an ammonia and methane based metabolism. Here's the formula for the metabolism animal analogs use on this planet: $$\ce{3CH2O + 4NH3 -> 3CH4 +...
Venik Hue's user avatar
  • 1,212
4 votes
2 answers
958 views

What is the minimum complexity of summoned "food" that a person could live long-term on?

This question is inspired by an another question which asked how long a mage could survive on pure water, NaCl salt, and sucrose, which they could summon. In taking this a step farther, what is the ...
DDriggs00's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
241 views

Which hypergolic compounds are best suited for dragon fire?

I'm looking for input from chemists, biochemists, and those familiar with rocket fuel propellants. I'm a fantasy world builder, but that doesn't mean everything in my fantasy world is excluded from ...
HikingStick's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
325 views

Are there any alternative genetic systems which could allow for the development of emergent complexity?

DISCLAIMER: I am an (intensely interested) layman, not a scientist. Please take my summation of the following concepts accordingly. I'm currently trying to worldbuild a plausible alien species down to ...
the-protean's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
100 views

How does this microbe recognize specific chemical patterns?

This species of bacteria is electroreceptive, and when it receives an input pattern of electric spikes, it can “translate” that input pattern into a pattern of chemical signals internally via its ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Replacing Light in Photosynthesis with Electric Energy

I am currently attempting to construct my alien planet with exotic forms of life that use alternative metabolisms. I got an idea that I could perhaps somehow replace the photon energy required in ...
Venik Hue's user avatar
  • 1,212
1 vote
4 answers
212 views

Could this hypothetical molecule “read” gene code, to allow universal epigenetics?

Here’s the idea: I want to create a biological info-storing material, probably much like RNA, that—like noncoding RNA does—is able to mediate and enact epigenetic changes to the genetic code/material ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
3 votes
5 answers
638 views

Could a species with multiple types of genetic material, like a “universal donor”, reasonably naturally exist?

As of late I’ve been developing a concept for a species able to transmit traits through genetic information, basically putting that information into a “host” organism to enact some sort of epigenetic ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
4 votes
3 answers
174 views

Could a (semi-)universal information-storing molecule exist?

So let’s say I’ve got a new product, some sort of injection or other substance that allows customers to put a trait of some sort into some of their cells. It doesn’t have to be self-sustaining or ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
6 votes
3 answers
297 views

Could plants orbiting an active enough star (one that’s around F-type) evolve photo-voltaic cells as the star “calms down”?

Wanted to create Flora (and maybe organisms overall) that evolved near stark white coloration due to the high output of radiation from it’s, at the time, high energy F-Type star. It’s a star and of it’...
Ana'gonya Owusu's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
133 views

Could a life form be genetically modified to use D-form amino acids?

It is now known that life on earth uses D-form sugars and L-form amino acids. However, it is also known that life on other worlds might be the other way around; using L-form sugars or D-form amino ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,605
-5 votes
1 answer
143 views

How can a plant have pure graphite cell walls instead of cellulose?

So like, how could a plant extract carbon out of other organic molecules and make their cell walls out of graphite instead of cellulose?
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
167 views

How could a remote controlled bacterium work?

How could a radiowave controlled remote-controlled bacterium be possible? Criteria: The receiver for the radiowaves would not be bigger than the bacterium (which is the size of a cyanobacterium) The ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

What could be an alternative for chlorophyll for cyanobacteria that use five micron infrared to make energy?

What would be a viable chlorophyll like protein be for a cyanobacterium that absorbs infrared light at the 5-20 micron range to produce energy in the form of ATP?
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Can combustion create ATP

Could the heat and light from slow and controlled combustion produce ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate? Could the heat and light drive proton pumps and then could ATP synthase produce ATP from the ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
213 views

Can cells and other materials be controlled electromagnetically

I'm trying to make a creature with a specialized organ that can be controlled telekinetically with cellular precision. Basically the creature would have a specialized organ connected to the brain that ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
494 views

Can just heat be used to power ATP production?

I want to have some lifeforms that live around and in hot environments and absorb the heat around them to produce ATP without using any other energy sources. Is this possible? How can this be done? ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Reductive instead of oxidative based metabolism

Is it possible to have a cellular metabolism based on reduction instead of oxidation? All known life currently uses some sort of oxidation in cellular respiration, either from oxygen or from oxidizing ...
user118161's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
198 views

On a planet whose waters are super rich in iron, could life forms use the iron as a basis for their skeletons?

One of my planets has surface waters that are incredibly rich in oxidized iron, and I was intrigued by the possibility of alternate materials for bones when I came across Stephen Gillett's Clorox ...
Massi's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
3 answers
168 views

To what are humans from one world allergic to humans from another? [closed]

Assume that there are two types of humans. One is your bog standard Earth like. The other is slightly biologically different. A few extra glands and hormones, maybe even an extra organ. The ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
6 votes
1 answer
278 views

How would an animal produce oil that creates a purple flame when burned?

In a short story I'm writing, a non-tropical island nation has an economy centered around selling an oil made from a particular animal. The oil is special because it produces a light purple flame when ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
501 views

Effects of metal-augmented skeletons on behaviour and evolution

In the planet I'm working on, strong tidal forces meant early on in evolutionary history most organisms developed a nacre or chitin-like composites with calcium carbonate, even in internal skeletons. ...
Rexotec's user avatar
  • 381
1 vote
0 answers
144 views

What would life be like that uses liquid nitrogen as a solvent instead of water? [closed]

I'm working on a worldbuilding project and want to have an intelligent species from a planet where liquid nitrogen is the dominant solvent, not water. I plan on building the planet backwards from here ...
shesahuman's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
313 views

If humans were killed out in the Great Oxidation Event, would they leave behind any evidence?

I was thinking about the Great Oxidation Event - how, when they evolved and starting dumping a ton of oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis, they accidentally killed off almost all life on ...
Arcaeca's user avatar
  • 215
3 votes
4 answers
718 views

What would be required to allow a human brain to function for thousands of years?

Could a human brain be kept functioning (thinking, alive, etc.) for thousands of years by use of some sort of machine or technology by the machine preserving the brain? What would such a machine have ...
Kal Madda's user avatar
  • 1,851
4 votes
2 answers
184 views

How would a bioengineered warbeast get energy from fossil fuel products?

In the somewhat far future, mankind has become fairly adept at wet nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Allowing them to not just modify what exists in nature, but build beyond it with almost ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
524 views

CHOS Biochemistry: Is it even possible, and what would it actually be like? [closed]

For weeks now, I have been trying to find a significantly different alternative to normal biochemistry; I've had some good ideas, but I sadly don't know enough about Earth's biochemistry to be sure if ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
319 views

How would copper based skeleton evolve in an alien species

I'm working at a special biology project for my art degree. Of course, as an artist I am lacking when it comes to chemistry. I want the organic compounds that make their skeletons or exoskeletons ...
Radu Dan Coroian's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
2k views

Would an XNA based organism be immune to all pathogens?

XNA is a nucleic acid analogue that could hypothetically be used by an organism in place of DNA. and is "invisible" to natural biological systems. In medical applications, it has the ...
7678687678686 9890809809808's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Carbon planet gardens [closed]

This is a restart of my previous question: let's say there was a carbon planet with life. That means it would use hydrocarbons as a solvent and since the molecules are more complicated, all reactions ...
Joe Smith's user avatar
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