Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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13
votes
2answers
557 views

How Efficient Could Anaerobic Megafauna Be?

Obviously, if available, atmospheric oxygen is a great source of energy. However, I'm surely not the first worldbuilder who wants an alien species which doesn't depend on it (whether due to having ...
3
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4answers
181 views

“Realistic” Dwarfs Part One: Bioluminescence for active Vision

I've been thinking about dwarfs and their depiction in classical fantasy for while now and concluded that I find it unrealistic and lazy. Some research showed me that the current fantasy dwarfs have ...
2
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2answers
113 views

How can I fast-track the growth of a human being?

A homoculus is an artificial human being that is created through the magical science of alchemy. These creatures are born in artificial wombs by a dark ritual that requires various materials, and the ...
5
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2answers
187 views

External ATP Synthesiser Plausibility

Assume a civilisation with futuristically advanced knowledge of biochemistry. Assume it wants to develop a cybernetic device meant to facilitate the organism's ability to perform high-power activities ...
15
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9answers
6k views

Could a Weapon of Mass Destruction, targeting only humans, be developed?

Specifically, if deployed on a town. The buildings, animals (flora and fauna) would be completely untouched, but not a single human would survive the blow. Secondly, if this is possible, what gene, ...
8
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2answers
217 views

Is it possible for a creature to exist that uses lye instead of acid to digest food?

As far as I could gather the digestion relies on enzymes which in turn set requirements for pH. Is it possible for an alien creature to have a different set of enzymes that require basic environment ...
8
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6answers
832 views

What would prevent chimeras from reproducing with each other?

There exists a polymerization spell that allows distinct animals to combine with each other, creating an entirely new creature. The beasts in question are held in transumutation circles linked by ley ...
6
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3answers
279 views

How to produce milk that's similar to blood?

How could a mammal produce milk which resembles blood? The blood milk should keep as many properties of milk as possible, curding for example, while resembling blood as much as possible. The mammal ...
4
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2answers
108 views

If oxygen is extracted from blood, would the process cause any hormones within it to be extracted as well? [closed]

Let's say oxygen is continuously being extracted from the blood of a Giant Pacific, 1-and-a-third years old octopus and will be injected into a human using a process similar to this: https://www....
1
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2answers
140 views

How could the hormones of an octopus affect an adult man? [closed]

Let's say the hormones of a Giant Pacific Octopus, 1-and-a-third years old, enter the bloodstream of an adult male. How would or could that affect him?
2
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3answers
282 views

The Ancient Guardian

In my world there is an old human guarding something of great significance. All chemical reactions in their body have been slowed down to a microscopic fraction of what is deemed usual*. Once the ...
10
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4answers
279 views

Membrane impermeable to $N_2$ but permeable to $CO_2$ and $O_2$?

I'm looking for a way to bypass the bidirectional diffusive gas exchange that happens in human alveoli, to allow aquanauts to breathe a standard Nitrogen-Oxygen air mix at very high pressures (up to ...
7
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8answers
3k views

Need a suitable toxic chemical for a murder plot in my novel

I need ideas for a chemical or disease which kills the victim upon holding it in the palm for about 4 or 5 seconds. The death isn't necessarily immediate, as it might take days to kill the victim in ...
7
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3answers
310 views

Are healing potions scientifically plausible?

As clarification we're talking about those common fantasy healing potions that recover health over time and their scientific plausibility. Here are some results from my research on the subject: ...
5
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1answer
182 views

Could genetic engineering enable humans to make use of titanium or some similar material instead of calcium for bone formation?

I'm planing to create "super powers" born out of genetic engineering, but I don't want magic miracle stuff like an x-man, I'm looking for a realistic approach, so overall can you modify the materials ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, addendum: Metabolism

A while back Demigan had a running series of posts about various aspects biological enhancement for the purpose of designing super-soldiers with an element of (pseudo) science behind them. You can ...
4
votes
4answers
115 views

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 ...
18
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5answers
386 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 ...
3
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4answers
167 views

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
votes
1answer
158 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
votes
1answer
136 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
votes
1answer
291 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
6k views

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 ...
1
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0answers
56 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
105 views

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 ...
18
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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 ...
5
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1answer
364 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 ...
8
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2answers
235 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
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3answers
151 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
106 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
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1answer
93 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
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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
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3answers
139 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
176 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
171 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
86 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
499 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
300 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
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
375 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
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3answers
338 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
415 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
64 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
251 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
744 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
176 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
160 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
196 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
118 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
281 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 ...