Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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2
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1answer
76 views

Bacteria can produce sulphuric acid with pH values of <1 Could a more complex organism use them?

Previously, I asked about the plausibility of a sulphuric acid dragon. As it turns out, the answer was right on Wikipedia, namely a. thiooxidans and the snottie Snottites are highly acidic biofilms ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Dinitrogen monoxide as a gaseous oxidizer for life

Could alien life use nitrous oxide, N2O, as its oxidizing gas, like oxygen on earth? What biochemical reactions would be needed to produce and utilise this gas? I've also heard conflicting messages, ...
7
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1answer
136 views

Biology needed for a supersonic dragon?

The dragon can achieve mach 1.5 in level flight and can achieve mach 2 in a dive. It likes to hunt its prey through use of kinetic energy like a Peregrine falcon. My theories: The dragon can ...
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3answers
172 views

How could genetic engineering be used to create an opposite sex clone?

Do you think it will become possible to create opposite sex clones in the future? A male clone from a woman or a female clone from a man? I think it will become possible. To create a female clone ...
2
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2answers
143 views

Is a sulfuric acid dragon possible?

So, aqua regia is a somewhat safe material for a living being to work with, but the problem is that it isn't metal enough. Somebody suggested in an answer to another question, that dragons would fare ...
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1answer
107 views

If a human body were to break down into simple gasses of its component elements as a means of shapeshifting how much solid matter would be left? [closed]

The setting I am working with has several individuals with shapeshifting powers. To deal with the inevitable “shapeshifters seem to violate conservation of mass while shapeshifting” issue, the rules ...
3
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3answers
130 views

What is a realistic outcome of what will happen to the body if all the flammable materials in the gut spontaneously ignite?

I am writing a story where a person suffers from a medical condition where the gut produces too much of a liquid called diphosphane. Diphosphane is pyrophoric past a certain small concentration, and ...
4
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1answer
88 views

How would a creature like this work?

This lifeform is a carbon based humanoid that uses ammonia instead of water, breathes chlorine gas, and its body uses the mineral olivine to toughen its skin. Its blood is blue; apparently an ammonia-...
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2answers
116 views

Could life generate twice on a planet using slightly different materials?

Extremely low possibility, but if life synthesizes from scratch after life has existed on a planet for a few million years, would the two separate lineages be able to co-exist?
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4answers
166 views

Internal chemistry of a melon bomb

I am a giant, intelligent, fortress-like, plant-based organism, able to forge many structures, defenses and organisms from my flesh by altering my own DNA and rapidly growing new constructs whenever ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 2/2: Preventative measures

Previous question: Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 1/2: Smart Neutralizing Agent So, I decided to find an alternative breath weapon for my dragons, that maximizes destructive ...
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1answer
51 views

How would chemosynthesis using ammonia(NH3) work?

On a terrestrial planet with a high amount of ammonia vapor in the atmosphere, would any organism have a strong enough incentive to develop some form of autotrophic chemosynthesis that derives energy ...
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1answer
55 views

Proofing dragons against their acidic breath weapon 1/2: Smart Neutralizing Agent

So, dragons here use aqua regia (an acid that dissolves even gold) as their breath weapon. This acid is made up of the dragon's stomach acid and some nitric acid, stored in a separate organ. On top ...
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3answers
266 views

How does the ecosystem of the Underdark/underground world work?

The Old Ones build continent-sized bunker complexes to protect themselves from the enemy, which followed through the cosmic ocean. The Hunter succeeded easily despite their efforts and their corpses ...
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5answers
266 views

What improvements in the human body will allow it to withstand critically low or high pressure?

My question: What is it that needs to be improved or added to the human body so that it can withstand critically (fatally) low and high (if, my genetically modified person is underwater or a very ...
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13answers
3k views

Substance that changes quickly from liquid/gelatinous to solid?

Question: does a liquid or gelatinous substance exist that once outside a body could solidify and be hard enough to be used once as a tool? The setting is low fantasy without magic, yet with ...
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3answers
99 views

Food Production …IN SPACE!

One of the basic requirements for life is effectively food. One of the basic requirements of engineering is that we lift off with as little mass as possible. If we choose to explore the solar system ...
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2answers
104 views

Which of these options is more achievable for a biological creature?

I have an alien species similar to a caterpillar, the original idea was that the creature could eat different materials, digest them then combined with a very sticky liquid created in its body, it ...
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5answers
1k views

Substance that counteracts one poison but accelerates/exacerbates the effect of another?

Is there an example of substances interacting with each other in the following way? A is a lethal substance, killing within minutes to hours when orally ingested; anti-A is an antidote for A (or at ...
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4answers
143 views

if there was a dragon that spits pyrophoric liquids like a spitting cobra

Ok, to be honest, I don't believe about dragons having a special bladder or organ that stores up gas (especially methane) and having flint-like teeth or whatnot, or even having six limbs. Here's my ...
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2answers
111 views

How strong, resistant and fast can a (humanoid) living being be?

How fast could run a humanoid being, how much damage could resist, how much weight could lift, how strong could hit, under the indicated evolutionary conditions? is there a limit? I have always ...
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4answers
341 views

Alcohol-based organisms?

Would it be possible to have an organism to be based on alcohol, rather than water? Complexity does not matter, but a complex organism would be favourable. their environment would be in oceans of ...
7
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2answers
202 views

How to make a microbe that can eat metal and breathe hydrogen?

I made an organism called the Skarlix for a art/xenobiology project called Sagan 4. The Skarlix is a eukaryotic, somewhat amoeba-like organism that "eats" various metal compounds and "breathes" (...
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4answers
106 views

How to transform a cells energy source into explosives

I'm basically searching for an ATP that can be used to supply cells and also have its energy extracted efficiently into a basic form of explosive material (the stronger the better) without a lot of ...
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4answers
305 views

Realistic “Titan hardening” for living creatures: what's the hardest substance a biological process can produce?

SPOILERS FOR ATTACK ON TITAN, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK... Hardening, or Titan hardening is an ability posessed by certain types of titans in the anime Attack on Titan. Since the setting has rifles and ...
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3answers
147 views

How good could magically hardened bones get for weaponcraft

I haven't used tag "magic" because while the process is magical, I am interested in resulting material, which is itself completely unmagical and follows physical laws of our world. So, I have a ...
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2answers
174 views

Neodymium magnets as nanoparticles bonded with atmospheric amide to create a magnetic 'air curtain'?

Amide bonds are extremely stable and their half-life for hydrolysis in neutral aqueous solution is estimated to be seven years. Amides bind to metal ions through the carbonyl oxygen. Neodymium ...
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3answers
190 views

Could a carbon based lifeform use the mineral olivine in its structure? Why would it?

Have a creature from a dream. It's a carbon based humanoid creature partly made of the mineral olivine. Could there be any reason it might contain this mineral? Perhaps a show of health - the more ...
7
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1answer
137 views

Can you replace goethite with something else in limpet teeth to decrease its density and maintain its strength?

The limpet teeth's microscopic structure is analogous to man-made short-fiber composites. Its strength depends on the direction of the force, relative to the orientation of the fibers. https://www....
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5answers
5k views

What would a life-form be like if it's antimatter-based

I've been thinking of the idea of creating and adding an alien species that's antimatter-based (being from a universe where antimatter became the majority instead of "normal matter"). However, I'm ...
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1answer
95 views

Symbiotic fungus causing rapid mutations within the human body

A group of scientists discover a heretofore unknown species of fungus. unbeknownst to them, let's say it is of extraterrestrial origin but it operates very much like certain fungi on Earth (e.g. ...
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1answer
109 views

How to prevent vampires from catching bloodborne diseases? [duplicate]

Vampires are known to be humanoid creatures to whom the nutrients in blood are essential. I will assume that, for the purpose of this question, vampires are entirely human but consume blood, may it ...
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4answers
105 views

Designing the properties of a biological agent that could wipe out 90% of the population without being stopped

I'm interested in coming up with a plausible agent of destruction, virus or fungus or engineered weapon or what have you, that could conceivably wipe out a majority of the human race. What physical ...
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3answers
114 views

What are my “viral” humans harvesting from from my uninfected humans?

The following scenario takes place on Earth, sometime in the next few decades. An unethical biotech company has developed a deadly bioweapon that uses humans as a vector, almost like a suicide bomber ...
6
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1answer
115 views

How could a scientifically plausible Rust Monster quickly erode iron-based metal objects?

Rust Monsters are one the few original monsters in D&D that didn't fade into obscurity. Probably because of their ability to turn James' favourite metal items into dust. Rust monsters are ...
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15answers
3k views

What could a technologically advanced but outnumbered alien race do to destroy humanity? [closed]

Scenario: an alien race has traveled across the gulf of time and space, let's say from the Alpha Centauri system, fleeing their own dying world and looking for a suitable replacement. They find out ...
6
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1answer
105 views

Could a blood transfusion from immune survivors of a deadly, bioengineered virus grant the same immunity to those who don't have it?

First question so hope I'm doing this right! Working on a setting right now where a bio-engineered virus/plague is wiping out a large portion of humanity. Most died upon first exposure. Some survived, ...
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8answers
4k views

Can a species eat ice? [duplicate]

At age 9, I drew an alien which I described as "eating ice". Occasionally I've wondered if that's possible. Carbon-based Earth life only uses water as a solvent and consumes carbon compounds for ...
7
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5answers
161 views

How can the epidermis be manipulated at will to become clothing-like material?

In this world, elves developed along similar lines of homo sapiens, with some major differences that allow for a small metamorphic ability. Their epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, can be shaped ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Does a life form not using a food-based metabolism still need to saturate its cells with respiratory gases?

I've quite a few alien species that utilize a non-food-based metabolism (one of them being nuclear power). Does a species that has a metabolism not based-on plants or meat (such as using nuclear ...
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2answers
192 views

How Would Ammonia-Based Life Evolve? [closed]

EDIT: The planet/moon has a high mass, and has a similar atmosphere to Jupiter or Saturn. These organisms will be silicon-ammonia based, and breathe hydrogen. There will be very little oxygen in the ...
2
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2answers
77 views

UTH Ceramic Bones/Exoskeleton?

Why and how could an organism evolve to make its bones or exoskeleton out of a UTH (Ultra High Temperature) ceramic like TiB2, WC, B4C, or TaHfC? Is it even possible?
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5answers
2k views

A drug that allows people to survive on less food

In this near-future setting, biotechnology is slightly more advanced than our own. Genetic engineering is cheap as well, but due to an ecological disaster the environment just doesn't have enough ...
5
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2answers
288 views

Electrosynthetic Autotrophs

Photosynthesis has an abysmal efficiency with regards to converting solar energy into useful fuel for a plant, and I was wondering: 1) If it would be possible to engineer a plant to accept electrical ...
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2answers
97 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
229 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
811 views

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
388 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 ...
3
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2answers
111 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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2answers
120 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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