Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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1 answer
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How can technologically-advanced civilisation achieve healthy tanning?

I am looking for the ways to allow humans with technology that allowed them to colonise the entire galaxy (150 thousand light years wide) to avoid the negative side-effects of tanning (premature ...
6 votes
8 answers
3k views

Could bioengineered trees grow high explosives?

The setting I'm trying to develop is a post-apocalyptic partial Dyson Swarm. The world has very advanced AI and one of those developed the system as a caretaker god inhabiting the star. It has gone ...
7 votes
8 answers
4k views

How to make chocolate safe for Keidran? (Basically Dog-people)

Backstory (skip if desired) Let's take our cute and self-conscious protagonist, Jayden! (For the people that read and responded to the post about the genetics behind keidran and the colonization of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
162 views

Alt. Biochemistry - Which of these is a suitable alternative/mirror to DNA?

This question is tied to the “Glass Trees” question I asked earlier which everyone seemed to like. Since y’all had such good opinions on that, I figured I’d bring this particular quandary to y’all in ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Glass Trees - how feasible is it?

Edit: For clarification, this question is in regards to silicate use in carbon-based biochemistry, not silica-based biochemistries. The microorganisms you see above are called diatoms; they are a ...
4 votes
2 answers
529 views

Could supercritical co2 act as a biosolvent?

Let me break it down: Having failed to terraform venus, I am now trying to the process of pantropy to inhabit this world, (pantropy = to adapt humans/Terran life to other planetary environs through ...
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4 votes
4 answers
152 views

What kind of material could tooth enamel be made out of to change the tooth colour besides iron?

The world I'm making isn't hard science fiction nor science fiction, really, but I'd like to be somewhat realistic in some aspects, like this one. I'd like my humanoid fantasy/alien species to have ...
3 votes
8 answers
2k views

How can I create an emotional computer?

In this project of mine, AI are described as being smart, but emotionless, for the simple reason that they lack any hormonal system to influence the way they think. In layman’s terms, they’ve got no ...
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4 votes
3 answers
117 views

Replacing proteins with starch in alien biochemistry

So, I am trying to come up with forms of alien biochemistry that are different but not so different that these life forms are drinking battery acid or breathing methane. One idea I read about on Orion’...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What do Titanians drink instead of alcohol?

It is the year 274 After Singularity (2384 AD) Humans have settled on Saturn’s moon Titan and are adapting humans to the methane-rich environment through pantropy. The results are the Titanians: ...
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10 votes
2 answers
163 views

A planet with acid rains but its atmosphere is breathable

I am trying to create a planet that rains acid, and that has acidic oceans of water, but a breathable nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. This planet has native lifeforms that have evolved to withstand these ...
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3 votes
6 answers
174 views

Why is my organic computer the only thing capable of manipulating my special particles?

I have a few fictional particles in my setting that can do many things, however getting them do something specific is the challenging part. There are a class of particles that only work while in the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Minimal-Hydrogen Carbon-Based Biochemistry in a Hydrogen-Free, Non-Oxygen-Reactive, Non-Oxidising solvent (Such as Liquid CO2)

Over the course of my worldbuilding, I have looked into many alternative substances from which oceans could be composed that would serve as a viable solvent for biochemistry, and I often run into the ...
3 votes
6 answers
371 views

How can human feed themselves on a planet without organic compounds?

I have a planet that is mostly inhabited by "animals" that aren't carbon based, with intentions for humanity to eke out a way of living there. Now, easily I could reason that they just ...
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Could this salt-based venom work?

I am working on an alien creature with a venomous stinger. Injecting its venom causes sodium chloride to rapidly crystallize throughout the victim’s body, swiftly dehydrating them and hardening their ...
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2 answers
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What compound could life use to get sulfur from to use as an oxidant?

I'm working on a planet which has a biosphere that breathes sulfur as an oxidant. What is the most efficient gaseous (By "gaseous" I mean gaseous at the temperature of my planet, which is on ...
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Can a Biosphere Exist With Sulfur as an Oxidant?

I've been looking a lot at hydrothermal vents recently, because I was making a moon with a subsurface ocean that has life in it, and I found out that Sulfur can be used as an oxidant. My question is: ...
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2 votes
3 answers
670 views

Can my Deep-Sea Creature use its Bioluminescense as a Flashlight to Find Prey?

My intelligent alien species looks like a Koosh Ball: Image Source They use biological "Flashlights" based on bioluminescence which uses sulfur as an oxidizing agent instead of oxygen. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How can a World Produce Oxygen Without Photosynthesis? [duplicate]

My alien species uses bioluminescence for communication. They live at the bottom of an ocean 50km deep. Since there is no light, the ecosphere is based on chemosynthesis. The losest rung of the food ...
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1 vote
2 answers
151 views

Is a planet where Chemosynthesis replaces photosynthesis possible?

Specifically, using atmospheric/dissolved sulfur compounds to power energy-producing chemical reactions in Plant-like organisms Im looking to make a planet where due to a thick cloudy atmosphere, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
112 views

Could animals/plants survive off of coolant instead of water?

Say there was a source of water that animals and plants alike were surviving in, a sort of desert oasis situation, here we have Fred, he is an animal who lives off of this body of water. Buts let's ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What chemistry other than that on Earth could support life on an alien planet? [closed]

I like designing aliens, similar to how Biblaridion did it on his videos on YT where he establishes the world conditions and chemistry of the world and proceed to create an evolutionary tree from ...
2 votes
2 answers
299 views

What could make an animal have hallucinogenic blood?

The animal in question is not hallucinating, but instead the humans who drink the blood of the serpent experience an altered state of consciousness that’s used in shamanistic ritual. What chemicals ...
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2 votes
1 answer
283 views

How plausible is my alien world? Atmospheric Content

The theoretical world of Hēdran is the 2nd planet of a 7 planet system. It lies within its star' s (G1.4) habitable zone, but with a hot jupiter gas giant only ~1 AU away it experiences heavy ...
3 votes
1 answer
96 views

Do sulfuric acid plants produce oxygen?

In Biochemistry of a sulfuric acid world, I assumed that autotrophs would strip hydrogen from H2SO4 (which is their biosolvent) to fix carbon, just like plants on Earth strip hydrogen from water (...
5 votes
5 answers
276 views

What pressures would force most life to possess external stomachs, and how would they avoid losing moisture on an Arid planet?

The zoology of my setting takes place on a mostly dry planet - it's certainly got rainfall, seas, and wetlands in certain ecoregions, and life exists there mostly, but some things still live in more ...
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14 votes
12 answers
6k views

Can a person be immune to all diseases and poisons

I have an OC, who was born with this one-of-a-kind condition. His immune system is abnormally strong, invincible really. He's incapable of getting sick, or dying of bacteria, viruses, venoms, poisons, ...
1 vote
2 answers
226 views

What carbon-based alternative biochemistries would work in high-temperature, high-pressure water?

For a while now, I've been wanting to design a world where the average temperature is very high (compared to Earth, but nowhere near as high as Venus) but the water does not boil because the ...
4 votes
3 answers
231 views

Are there any glaring problems in my alternate biochemistry?

I have been putting together an alternate biochemistry, one that is suited for an environment with lots of fluorine. I have a "model" of sorts for how it works, and I would like to know if ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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Fire heat organism [closed]

My organism produce cooled plasma for defense .It lives in planet with very exotic flora and fauna which have super powers . It preys big whales and trex like organism. My question is that how my ...
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7 votes
1 answer
253 views

This organism can survive temperatures of 45°C. What's the next overheating-related threat?

This is a sequel to my previous question in this vein, in which I handwaved away some issues related to Bob overheating. As DWKraus pointed out when answering said previous question, cell membranes ...
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3 votes
2 answers
239 views

What organelles(parts of a cell) did early cells most likely have?

I am trying to make fluorine-breathing life, starting from the cells and building my way up. I first am going to make very early and primitive cells, and for this I need to know what organelles were ...
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7 votes
9 answers
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Why is overpopulation not an issue on a floating island where people can live for a long time

In my setting there are large floating islands and much smaller floating islands that flow in random directions. Smaller ones sometimes contain mini ecosystems or ore veins that are extremely useful ...
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8 votes
3 answers
556 views

Viable alternatives to lignin and cellulose for cell walls and wood?

I want to design alien plants in which wood and cell walls are not made of the lignin/cellulose mixture wood and plant cell walls on Earth are made from, but I don't actually know what materials would ...
3 votes
2 answers
344 views

programing genetic memory (or; the hard way to get your kids to clean their room.)

Is genetic memory in higher life forms real? if so can, in theory, an organism be programed for a specific behavior or set of skills? Ie: if genetic memory is a mechanism that does exist, at what ...
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8 votes
1 answer
809 views

Photosynthesis with Microwave or Radio Wave

In short, please provide me with a scientifically plausible biochemical scheme for how an organism can harness the energy of long-wavelength electromagnetic radiation to produce food for itself. Thank ...
4 votes
2 answers
282 views

Any fluorine alternatives to the phosphate chain of ATP?

From what I know, the energy in ATP comes from the phosphate chain, which can be cleaved for energy using water(more specifically the energy comes the from the formation of new molecules upon cleaving ...
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4 votes
2 answers
118 views

Alternatives for Phospholipid bilayer

What kind of inorganic materials might be used instead of phospholipid bilayer? It should be able to function in ammonia-environment. I had an idea of using phosphotungsic acid's anions based on this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Explosive biology

My organism live in planet full of water . It has only small percent of land about 5% only. It is big as gorilla. It eats metal ores and gains sustenance from it. My organism developed an powerful ...
4 votes
1 answer
101 views

Super powerful dragon biology

The lower jaw is hollow, to support the breath weapon, but the upper also has a weapon pocket. Each gland secretes a chemical that reacts with the other - the upper secretes a magnesium-rich oil that ...
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8 votes
1 answer
314 views

Altering the muscles of giant creatures to let them stand without collapsing by changing their proteins

One of the problems with scaling up creatures without increasing their proportions is that their muscles won't be strong enough to support their weight due to the square-cube law, which I'm sure you'...
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-1 votes
2 answers
95 views

Organic metallic compound [closed]

My organism have a weight of 270 kilograms. It have height of 2.49 metres. My organism is reptile and it lived in animals with metallic shells . My organism has bite force enough to crush car in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
111 views

Superheating furnace stomach

My organism lives near volcano. It consumes large quantities of rock and digests specific minerals, expelling the remaining rock, super heated by his furnace like stomach, as lava. What mechanism ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Alien biochemistry [closed]

My creature was alien which home was destroyed . It got into another planet similar to earth . Its organs are not like humans. It sustains itself with by passively drawing in body heat and the ...
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2 votes
5 answers
137 views

Scientifically plausible powers : part 1 [closed]

My creature was capable of creating plasmoid flames from thin air not requiring oxygen and combustible objects similar to this "The user can create, shape, and manipulate plasma fire or fiery ...
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4 votes
2 answers
205 views

biochemistry of a silicon based sulfuric acid planet?

Im thinking about starting a speculative evolution project about this becauze i really like the idea of exotic biochemistry, ive looked at a few other posts and i have the gases that are breathed and ...
5 votes
2 answers
193 views

Black photosynthetic large active animals

Previous questions have addressed whether a large active animal could run off photosynthesis alone and the answer seems to be no and that it could only provide around 4% of the animals daily usage but ...
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5 votes
2 answers
150 views

Superactinide Incorporating Biochemistry

Alright so as it is known, trans-uranic elements are universally unstable. However, in this setting, I'm using forms of quark matter that can imitate the nucleus of transuranic elements at least mass ...
5 votes
4 answers
219 views

Are “carbon-based lifeforms” limited to inhaling O2 and exhaling CO2?

If there happened to be extremely radical conditions causing extremely unique evolutionary results, could a carbon-based lifeform hypothetically “drop” oxygen and carbon-dioxide in favor of an ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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My creature's cells mix water and some of the stuff in pee to cool themselves. How does it get that stuff to its cells?

After reevaluating the creature that cools its blood with lye and sal ammoniac, I removed the middleman - the cooling chamber and use of blood as coolant - and replaced the potassium hydroxide/...
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