Transmuting Bacteria
SCP-XXXX raised in arsenate (top) and phosphate (bottom) growth media.

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Safe Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: One sample of any genetically distinct culture of SCP- XXXX is to be stored in each of two secured -80 C freezers in the Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facility at Site 38. As of 01/18/2012, there are five genetically discrete cultures of SCP-XXXX (SCP-XXXX-1 through SCP-XXXX-5, respectively). Due to the apparently robust, and possibly virulent, nature of the samples gathered to date, only sample SCP-XXXX-3 is approved for research purposes without prior approval by the Site Manager. The replication rate of SCP-XXXX-3 is considerably reduced in the standard BSL-4 environment and appears non-infectious. All research staff or D-class personnel engaged in SCP-XXXX-3 research must submit to standard Level 4 decontamination, including ethylene oxide and ultraviolet sterilization procedures before entry into the BSL-3 corridor. All foundation employees with confirmed SCP-XXXX-4 infections must remain in BSL-4 quarantine until 14 days after medical clearance by Dr. Bimston. Testing on animals and D-class personnel is currently prohibited. The introduction of SCP-XXXX to the ocean or to fertilizer-rich runoff water must be avoided at all costs.

Description: SCP-XXXX consists of several species of halophilic bacteria resembling species of the Halomonadaceae family. Through currently unknown means, SCP-XXXX appears to be capable of transforming phosphorus atoms into arsenic, which consequently incorporated into the backbone of its DNA. While normal Halomonadaceae generally only inhabit salt beds, alkali lakes, and other areas of high salinity, SCP-XXXX is considerably more robust and can survive and replicate in water with salt concentrations as low as 250 milliosmoles (slightly under human blood salinity), albeit with a reduced rate of replication. One strain of SCP-XXXX (SCP-XXXX-4) is known to be capable of infecting the human tissues, but responds well to broad spectrum antibiotics.

The first sample of SCP-XXXX was recovered in 1983 from a copper mine in ██████, Australia after numerous miners at the site were hospitalized for symptoms consistent with arsenic poisoning (nausea, headaches, and notably leukonychia). Local health authorities traced the source of exposure to the drinking water at the mining site. Subsequent investigation revealed SCP-XXXX-1 to be the root cause of the arsenic contamination. At this point, the Foundation acted through contacts in the local government to suspend the investigation and seize all samples of SCP-XXXX-1 for analysis. Investigation of the mine by Foundation agents revealed multiple small cracks in the water pipes, which permitted SCP-XXXX-1 inhabiting the saline groundwater entry into the water supply. Complete sterilization of the mine was deemed unfeasible, so the mine was destroyed after standard Level 3 biological decontamination.

Since the initial recovery of SCP-XXXX-1, four additional subtypes of SCP-XXXX have been found in various locations across the globe. The most recent of these was the recovery of SCP-XXXX-5 in ██████ Lake, USA. Of the five strains, only SCP-XXXX-4 poses a direct risk to humans. SCP-XXXX-4 is capable of infecting human tissues, typically by entry through a cut or abrasion, forming small dermal lesions that are chalky white or gray in color. These lesions produce toxic levels of arsenic and result in both localized necrosis and systemic toxicity. Infection is invariably fatal unless treated within 24 hours of the presentation of toxic symptoms. After the discovery of SCP-XXXX-4 infection, SCP-XXXX's object class was upgraded from Safe to Euclid at the recommendation of Dr. Bimston and Dr. Castor. Note: Approval to test additional strains of SCP-XXXX for potential virulence was denied by O-5 on 7/16/11, but this decision is being appealed with the addition of new data.

The primary danger that SCP-XXXX presents is its ability to turn relatively innocuous phosphate compounds into highly toxic (to humans) arsenates. The mechanism by which SCP-XXXX accomplishes this is unknown, though the slight rise in pH and decrease in lithium concentration in SCP-XXXX-3 cultures indicates the loss of protons and other low-mass nuclei. This may indicate some form of low-energy fusion, resulting in the transmutation of phosphorus into arsenic. No net change in mass or temperature is detectable during this transmutation.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License