Questions tagged [biochemistry]

For questions regarding the chemistry of living organisms.

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2answers
83 views

Can sharkmen perceive your emotions?

alledgedly sharks can feel a humans heartbeat from a mile away or something like that, and they can perceive electrical signals, makes you wonder how come then they are dumb enough to confuse surfing ...
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5answers
108 views

Are there things that can make natural lifespan in other planets inherently longer?

How would things like gravity, air composition and density affect the lifespan of the biological protein based life that inhabits the planet, or would they have any significant effect at all? Honestly ...
6
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2answers
113 views

Bones with iron like beaver teeth. Would it work?

Beavers, asides from being the largest rodent in North America and making rather fetching hats, also have iron compounds within their teeth enamel which allows said tooth handle higher amounts of ...
6
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4answers
175 views

A substance that would cause a human to explode if eaten, but not your pet

I have a scene where a little girl has a pet. It could be a dog, cat, bird, monkey, whatever works for the scene, it just has to be something that humans keep as pets. She is feeding the pet with a ...
5
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1answer
57 views

How fast would 2ft tall people process alcohol?

I have a world both of normal humans and a fantasy race that are basically 2ft tall, with large heads and torsos and stubby legs if that's important. They typically weigh about the same as a housecat. ...
4
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5answers
707 views

How can a creature get high off of anti-acne medication?

For some reason, there's a creature that gets high off of acne medication, as per the title. Specifically, when it ingests a certain quantity of clindamycin phosphate 1 % topical solution - an ...
3
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3answers
324 views

If endotoxemia and proteins denaturing are no longer problems, what's the next overheating-related threat to an organism?

Let's say that it's impossible for a hypothetical organism's proteins to denature - unfolding and loosing their structure - due to high heat, and that, as such, temperatures equal to those required ...
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2answers
93 views

How do I stop blood from clotting except upon exposure to the atmosphere? [closed]

Blood clots in order to stop bleeding. The problem is that sometimes it clots when it's not supposed to. This is called thrombosis. It kills a shit-ton of people each year. I want this to stop ...
3
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4answers
131 views

How much biological overlap would there be between a mirror life ecosystem and an Earthly ecosystem?

Background: Chiral molecules or ions are particles which cannot be made congruent to one another via flipping one or rotating one. For example, the same property applies to your hands, assuming that ...
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2answers
93 views

What can we infer about a creatures that uses some kind of oil instead of water for our cellular fluid?

Is it feasible to envision a biology where oil is the main "solvent" (not sure if this word is chemically accurate). Whereas humans are 80% water, these guys would be 80% "canola oil&...
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22answers
6k views

How do I stop Bob the gigantic animal from overheating?

Specifically: what are some biological structures that could help subvert the square-cube law's effects on animal overheating? Bob is a really, really big land-based ambush predator that's normally ...
5
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3answers
187 views

A chemical process that creates sapphire bones

To quote Logan R. Kearsley's answer to this question regarding stronger-than-normal bones for making big but proportionate humanoids: And if you wanna go a little further out there... Sapphire ...
8
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1answer
237 views

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Limpet-Style Metal Superbones

Some context, right off the bat: I am a mad scientist. This means that evolution has been defenestrated; as such, I am not interested in determining what evolutionary pressures might lead to the ...
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4answers
1k views

What biomaterials with higher compressive strength than bone can I use to make big but proportionate humanoids?

One of the many problems with making really, really big creatures is that their bones are, eventually, incapable of supporting their own weight. Eventually, they get to be all leg and no body. This is ...
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2answers
3k views

Is bioluminescence metabolically expensive?

A small creature I have in mind is highly toxic and constantly glows as a distinctly visible warning to everything else at night. It would use other warning methods but they're not really visible in ...
7
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3answers
632 views

Is it possible to induce prions/protein-folding diseases via a magnetic field of sufficient strength?

This logbook entry from Destiny 2 states that WARNING. Novel prion detected in body collagen. Hypothesis: Jovian magnetosphere promotes highly abnormal protein folding. Prognosis: massive sloughing/...
4
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2answers
70 views

What are good structural and energy-storage molecules that don't release gas when synthesized?

Nicar is a carbon world (formed from a protoplanetary disk with more carbon than oxygen, so water is geologically unstable and the chemical environment is strongly reducing) with ammonia oceans and ...
6
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2answers
118 views

Aliens Using Both L and R-Amino Acids or Sugars - are they possible?

It's fairly common to see discussion of different chirality for amino acids and sugars whenever people ask for advice on plausible alien designs or biochemistry (e.g.: metabolizing left-handed sugars ...
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8answers
2k views

Could silicon-based lifeforms eat carbon-based food? [closed]

Say a group of silicon-based aliens arrive on earth, would their bodies be able to extract any nutrients from carbon-based food?
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1answer
80 views

Electromagnetic physiology

An electromagnetic ray fired from the my organism mouth, the EM Beam is incredibly deadly to those on the receiving end as the beam’s magnetism is up to 1 quadrillion gauss and strong enough to ...
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2answers
91 views

Biochemistry of a sulfuric acid world?

Much like the Cannonball world with iron carbonyl seas, Stephen Gillett, in the book World-Building proposes a world with sulfuric acid seas and oxygen atmosphere, with life based on silicone (...
4
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2answers
111 views

Biochemistry of the Cannonball world

In his classic book World-Building, Stephen Gillett briefly describes a proposal for a "Cannonball" world, depleted in volatiles and with a large amount of surface iron, with life based on ...
4
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1answer
49 views

Molecular ecology for endogenous formamide formation?

Kind of a follow-up to this earlier question: How could formamide lakes form on an exoplanet? Suppose the problem of how to get an initial quantity of formamide is solved, and microbial life has ...
3
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3answers
505 views

How can a vampire produce T cells at home?

Let's say that there's a vampire that consumes human blood for a regular re-infusion of T cells - both a convenient way to explain why they don't need massive amounts of it (you only need a few, and ...
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1answer
511 views

Are there any physical or biological principles that could be applied to electrically ground the human body?

Exactly what it says on the tin: are there any physical or biological principles that could be applied to electrically ground the human body? This could take the form of genetic alteration, surgery, ...
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4answers
132 views

Is it possible for extraterrestrial plants to produce oxidants other than oxygen gas?

Oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis because photosynthetic organisms on Earth use water as the electron donor. However, the first photosynthetic organism emerged from ocean where chloride is also ...
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1answer
77 views

Are there any big showstoppers for this cold planet having a large ecosystem?

I have a question: what is the best way to get a outer habitable zone planet to have liquid water on its surface (and a complex biosphere) without having lethal amounts of CO2 or greenhouse gases in ...
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2answers
164 views

What material would my animal have to be reinforced in in order to fly at Mach 1? [closed]

My organism is a bird-like organism that lives on an earth-like world. My creatures speed clocked at mach 1. What material is my organism reinforced in in order to reach mach 1 just by flapping its ...
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3answers
87 views

Bio chemistry to create heavy rain [duplicate]

My creature creates heavy rain simply by coming into contact with Earth’s atmosphere, its body producing several chemical compounds to produce this effect. What are plausible bio chemicals for my ...
2
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5answers
454 views

What are some biological electrical insulators that can be used as natural electricity-proof gloves?

I want to make a species that can grab and handle live electrical wires bare-handedly and be A-OK. What are some natural biological electrical insulators that can cover their hands thoroughly, ...
5
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3answers
108 views

How can I use sensory details to convey to the reader that something is being digested in acid? [closed]

I have a scene where a slime monster engulfs a person and begins digesting them by secreting acid. This scene is being viewed from the perspective of another person standing some distance away. I ...
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1answer
122 views

Hyper dense muscles

My organism has hyperdense muscles. This allows their type to generate enormous aerial force, some even able to cut things with their wings or generate G-force winds. What materials is their wings ...
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2answers
110 views

What are the chemical characteristics of a chemical weapon that kills in the short term and melts biomatter into slurry in the long term?

This substance must: be usable as a chemical weapon (i.e. deliverable via bombs, shells, mines, grenades, canisters, mortars, etc., and won't explode/denature/etc. when you synthesize it) within ...
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1answer
113 views

Internal polar system of my creature

My fauna has a mysterious internal polar system, which enables him to create an aura of voluminous clouds of absolute zero temperatures and summon torrential ice blizzards. What material is my ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Science of my creature super power

Geo-Ionikinesis: my creature is capable of generating plasmoid flames from thin air, not requiring the consumption of oxygen or combustible objects to maintain the flames. He has been seen being able ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Tough creature abilities skin

My creature has the natural ability to cause thunderstorms and heavy rain simply by coming into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, its body producing several chemical compounds and unstable ...
5
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2answers
175 views

Foamy scar formation

Imagine a world, a world several hundreds of light-years away which humans have promptly colonised. These interstellar pioneers land on the mysterious planet which they call home, only for them to see ...
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3answers
119 views

Extremely powerful jaws

How my alien creature jaws crush toughest metal alloys in our world with ease ? what structure could it need to produce such bite? and what materials is it possible reinforced that allows it to bite ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Biological furnace

My organism evolved to burn anything .But it is basically a biological furnace .IT works by incinerating anymatter within it .It could vent emit smoke from its vents like openings .But what could ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Attack mechanism [closed]

My creature attack was basically generated by releasing a stream of super-cooled and super-heated air at the same time which, when they interact with the addition of a strong gust of wind, generates a ...
3
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2answers
196 views

Infrared photosynthesis - how make it to work biologically and chemistry and composition of the process?

My creature is capable of obtaining energy from infrared radiation, especially the heat emitted directly by fire (essentially, the closest thing we have to a true "fire-eating" organism). ...
4
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1answer
70 views

How could my animal claws work realistically?

My animals can use its claws to crush hull of modern ships. It evolved on an earth like planet. It uses a chemosynthetic metabolism. My question is that what is the chemical composition of the claws ...
1
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1answer
79 views

Silicon carbide composite for bone [closed]

First things first, I came across this interesting article after which I stumbled upon this mysterious composite of an aluminium oxide and silicon carbide. Specifically stating this on wikipedia: &...
2
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2answers
94 views

What would the structure of a biological thermocouple be?

For reference: a thermocouple is a device that converts heat to electricity. What would an organic, naturally-evolved one that's part of a biological organism look like in terms of structure?
3
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1answer
130 views

How would a natural biological battery work?

Exactly what it says on the tin: what would be the structure and function of a naturally-evolved battery - i.e. a biological structure capable of storing electrical charge and powering an electrical ...
3
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1answer
103 views

Designing the most plausible space "dwelling" planimals

I'm a scientist of a colonised alien world in the far far future, on a planet which plant-derived insects and meat trees are keystone species in their biospheres. Let's say, I wanted to genetically ...
2
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4answers
144 views

How can a symbiotic bacteria affect psychology?

Let's say that I have a vampire. This vampire is engaged in a symbiosis with some kind of bacteria; this bacteria grants it increased blood oxidization, cancer-fighting abilities, improved neural ...
7
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4answers
159 views

Analog to water in rain

While on earth it usually rains water, it usually isn't a sight to behold. To spice things up, I would like the rain to truly remind its colonists that they're on an alien world. However, this ...
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1answer
119 views

What would the side effects of being a shapeshifter be? [closed]

In this historical-fantasy scenario, a major protagonist has been given the ability to transform into every animal species that Earth has and had offered, alive and extinct. (Which means if he wants ...
4
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3answers
117 views

How a living prosthetic would work?

This is a little bit hard to explain concept, practically some like a kind of symbiosis in which two organisms evolve together one get transport, almost free nutrients and relative security and the ...

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