I love speculative biology....and as people seemed interested in fleshing out these trees more in the comments section I really want to join in. Forgive me if I take a too structured a course with my side of the discussion.
One reason these trees may be rare, is it may be very hard for them to reproduce, because it would be very difficult for their seeds to germinate as the nuts are solid metal. Unless the embryos them selves can digest or absorb the solid metal, which it seems reasonable that they could and this shell would function like a down payment on the sapling. But this metal-nut-flesh would lack what we think of classic nutrients such a lipids, proteins and sugars. Do these trees require what
You may up also play up that this drawing up of cations could change to the pH of the surrounding soil. Could these roots take up non metalic ions such as Sodium and Calcium?
So the trees burn, dwarves burn them, does the metal content make them work like lightening rods?
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I would imagine that the sivver molecules would have to have a great deal of catalytic activity to direct the formation of new sivver molecules within the host. So they could also direct the folding or re-fold existing proteins. Perhaps that could be a sivver infection biomarker, when nitric oxide synthase or calcineurin is folded incorrectly (I just want to pick molecules that bound non-carbon molecules)
As for the crystal lattice, I am willing to suspend disbelief enough to imagine a clear shiny crystalline molecule that actually has complex molecular structure containing both high energy and low energy bonds and when exposed to a relatively small amount of ambient energy becomes polar when the those low energy bonds break. But indeed there is more fiction in here than science and certainly more fiction than engineering. But also the word crystal, in addition to biochemecial definition, just means something that looks like quartz.Go to Comment
It is kind of a sparse and dissjointed submission, but the basic idea really got me. I like this alot, as said the core idea is fantastic as is some of the smaller details (that they are invisible),
I wonder what the going rate is for musher bugs in the arcane markets
I would love to sit down and pick this, apart disaggree with minor points, suggest a removing of the really esoteric stuff that clogs an already esoteric article, on as you point out a fairly exclusive, forum for a people with a very specific hobby. I found this article in turn condescending, amusing, refreshing and I had one "well said moment" while reading the Aerith and Bob section. Everything you would expect in an op-ed piece. All in all, I think this article hits it mark, makes it point and engages the reader. Well done, I accept your 100-word challenge and thanks for again spurring my interest in this cite.