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Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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Anti-decomposition mechanisms?

Suppose that due to some kind of magical force I'll leave handwaved, (non-sapient) organisms are able to practice necromancy, reanimating their fallen peers as undead bodyguards. However, the magic ...
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1answer
123 views

How can I modify the prostate to produce alternative fluids?

Semen is liquid that spurts out of the penis during orgasm. It is produced by the walnut-sized prostate gland that sits just below the bladder, and by the seminal vesicles, two pinky-sized glands that ...
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5answers
323 views

Could a living creature produce graphene?

The thing about organics is that they can very precisely build themselves up, from a molecular level. They can take various, otherwise useless stuff like goethite and chitin and, through the power of ...
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4answers
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Can you create a living vehicle fueled by organic material?

In this world, the vehicles are effectively re-engineered insects; enlarged bio-manufactured nervous systems used instead of engines; factory grown lightweight chassis / [wheels]. The fuel station ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Could a human grow up larger by manipulating their endocrine system?

In my world there are a group of female warriors with an unusual ability: the resources of their bodies are fungible. For instance, they can make the muscles in one part of their bodies stronger at ...
8
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1answer
109 views

Carbon cycle in a sulphur-based biochemistry

I'm designing a world with advanced life forms that use a sulphur-based biochemistry (see this link for context). I would like to create a carbon cycle analogous to Earth, where: Photosynthesis ...
5
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1answer
167 views

Realistic alternatives to oxygen-based respiration? [closed]

Background I'm developing 6 to 10 sapient alien races for a short story. Basic Story Setting The short story takes place in the Milky Way sometime in the next 1000 years. These races will be at ...
28
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14answers
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Why would a blood transfusion of midiclorians not make my force abilities stronger?

Midichlorian's are chemical compounds found within every living cell that forms the basis between the connection life and the Force. Without midichlorians, life would be impossible. The amount of ...
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0answers
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What would plant life on 55 Cancri e be like? [closed]

55 Cancri e is an actual exoplanet which should be around twice the size of Earth so it would be high gravity. It also is thought to be a carbon planet, meaning the role silicate takes on our world ...
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3answers
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Electrolysis Assisted Aerobic Organisms [closed]

Hi this is my 2nd question on the site and I hope it is intriguing to you all. My question is: How feasible is it for an organism to sustain an Aerobic lifestyle (ie. the standard oxygen cycle found ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
301 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 ...
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2answers
173 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. ...
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3answers
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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
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1answer
81 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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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10answers
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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
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3answers
130 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
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2answers
173 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
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1answer
148 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
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1answer
83 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
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2answers
486 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
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3answers
280 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
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
361 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 ...
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3answers
287 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
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3answers
403 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
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1answer
63 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
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2answers
241 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
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5answers
517 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
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1answer
151 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 ...
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1answer
156 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 ...
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2answers
176 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 ...
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2answers
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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
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2answers
218 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
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2answers
241 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 ...
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4answers
679 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
536 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
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2answers
564 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, ...
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2answers
200 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 ...
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3answers
182 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
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1answer
117 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 ...
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2answers
199 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
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4answers
299 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
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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
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3answers
227 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....
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3answers
176 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...