Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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2answers
43 views

The Requiem quietly plays: Is it possible for molecular machines to read and modify proteins in the brain?

So, I had a concept (a bit large for a single question). One of it's parts is nanomachines rewiring the brain of the subject. Since we don't know much about the exact workings of the human brain, we ...
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2answers
140 views

What metals other than calcium can be used to create alien bones that won't also engender a human-toxic environment?

Edit: Okay, truth be known that this question was part of a set of 5 related questions that I was recommended to break up into individual posts (in their original form, the comments had no trouble ...
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2answers
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Alternative to Magnesium's Role in Photosynthesis

It is a known fact that magnesium is a very important part of photosynthesis and chlorophyll. I have looked everywhere to try to find out this question but I have never really gotten a solid answer. ...
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6answers
349 views

What kind of “fog” could be harvested (and processed) for fuel?

In my setting, a permanent "fog" hangs over the ocean. It is thick, granting low visibility to anyone within it. Instead of water droplets, however, this fog would consist of some substance or ...
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0answers
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What would a bromine based atmosphere planet be like? [duplicate]

OK, some of you may recognize this from a previous question, but now it's refined. After seeing this video by Artifexian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwauz9uIl9M, I thought I should take a stab at ...
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2answers
86 views

Effects of Ammonia

This is a continuation of a question I made earlier! The atmosphere consists of 80% N2, 17% O2, 1% CO2, 1% NH3. I am not extremely familiar with the chemistry of ammonia, but I do know that it ...
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3answers
91 views

Interesting Atmosphere Chemicals

I am currently working on world-building a planet, and I wanted to try to diverge from Earth's atmosphere a little bit, but not extremely. I am planning on still having it be a oxygen-nitrogen rich ...
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1answer
147 views

We need help with our xenoforming weapon of mass destruction

Our empire has been at the mercy of violent marauders who are not working with the Will of Dozin and instead trying to break away from our cosmic union. In our archives, we have found a xenoforming ...
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5answers
413 views

The anatomy of an organic microwave generator

I have a concept for a species of arctic-dwelling organism (let’s just call it a polar bear) that evolved an organ that was able to produce microwaves, which it uses to tunnel through ice. If such a ...
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3answers
196 views

Could a living creature produce silicon carbide?

Silicon carbide is a ceramic often used in vehicle and body armor, but could a living creature produce and use it the same way? Assume the creature was genetically engineered.
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4answers
318 views

What is more plausible, viruses in a host brain or a viral colony becoming conscious?

In my story I have a strain of virus capable of stealing parts of or changing its hosts DNA, so it could copy the abilities in nature for its next host of choice by taking the genes which control the ...
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4answers
219 views

Is this atmospheric composition breathable on a planet with 50% more surface pressure?

I've read all the related questions on here and as far as I can tell this should be breathable on my planet Liskuel, which has 1.5 bars of pressure. However, I'm really bad at maths and don't really ...
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3answers
375 views

Fertilizing desert in magical medieval world

Suppose there exists a magic-based civilization. Their mining techniques are medieval and their understanding of organic chemistry and biology are on the Enlightenment era level. However, they are ...
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1answer
139 views

Would A Biological “Cold Haber” Process Deplete an H2/N2 World of its H2 or N2?

Based on my reading on some science papers, large, wet terrestrial planets likely exist that are swathed in a thin atmosphere of nitrogen/hydrogen ($H_2$ & $N_2$). If life evolved on such worlds, ...
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2answers
613 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 ...
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4answers
231 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 ...
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3answers
167 views

How can I fast-track the growth of a human being with an artificial womb?

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 ...
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2answers
197 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 ...
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9answers
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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, ...
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2answers
226 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 ...
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6answers
844 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 ...
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3answers
292 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 ...
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2answers
111 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....
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2answers
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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?
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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3answers
323 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: ...
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1answer
192 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 ...
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2answers
188 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 ...
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4answers
123 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 ...
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5answers
402 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
181 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 ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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1answer
144 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 ...
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1answer
341 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 ...
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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
109 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 ...
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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
430 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
265 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
159 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 ...
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1answer
111 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
95 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
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 ...
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3answers
142 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 "...
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2answers
181 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 ...
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1answer
179 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 ...
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1answer
87 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 ...