SCP-2946
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TestEcoli.jpg

SCP-2946 specimens at the bottom of the bile salt broth pool where they were discovered.

Item #: SCP-2946

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2946 is to be kept in a 125 cubic meter containment tank, with a light, durable metal edging and plate glass sides. The bottom should be constructed with 5 drainage channels, which are to remain sealed until completion of protein expression. These drains will be connected to a protein vat. 4 sterile tanks, capable of holding 200,000 liters of broth, are to be attached to the tank via sterile PVC pipes. Pipes should be no more than 15 cms in diameter, and should have both manual and mechanically controlled valves. Broth tanks shall be filled with nutrient broth composed of the following ingredients:

  • 2% Peptone
  • 0.5% Yeast Extract
  • 100 mM NaCl
  • 25 mM KCl
  • 150 mM MgCl2
  • 150 mM MgSO4
  • 200 mM Glucose
  • Antibiotics as needed.

On the east and west sides of the tank, respectively, a cell sorter and large buffer basin should be constructed and attachable via appropriately sized PVC pipes. The tank shall be placed on top of a large-scale shaking mechanism, and rotated at a constant 135 rpm. Temperature should be kept at a constant 37 °C until the end of each 5 replication cycle period.

Glucose concentrations are to be monitored regularly. If concentrations fall below predetermined levels, glucose is to be added until they reach acceptable standards. Every 5 replication cycles, glucose concentrations are allowed to fall to 0. The tank is to be sealed immediately, temperatures lowered to 30 °C, shaker set to 300 rpm, and 100 mM IPTG added. The tank is to remain in this state for the next 4 days. At the end of 4 days, all broth is to be drained from the tank.

The tank is to be flushed with phosphate buffer. The cell sorter is attached, and all but 8 individuals removed from the tank.

Researchers working with or around SCP-2946 in non-transformation periods are to observe BSL-2 standard protocols.

In the event of a containment breach, entrapped personnel are to be submerged repeatedly in a tank of lysozyme1, EDTA, and hypotonic conditions.

During transformation procedures, all personnel are to wear BSL-3 standard protective gear. In the event that the entity is exposed to any foreign DNA other than the designated plasmid, a level 3 purge is to be initiated, and the containment tank flooded with concentrated hydrochloric acid. Research requests for exposing SCP-2946 to foreign genetic material require level 4 approval.

Description: SCP-2946 is a strain of Escherichia coli with a radius of 10 cm, and a length of 40 cm2. In both nutrient broth, and dry air, individual cells have a large range of pigmentations, and actively fluoresce3. Individual cells may possess 1 or 2 flagella4 allowing them to swim through the tank in less dense conditions. Specimens display impressive leaping capabilities, able to propel themselves from a liquid environment at speeds of near 100 km/h to heights of 30 m or more with the use of these flagella. SCP-2946 doubles once every 2 weeks, with the two subsequent specimens expressing different pigmentation and fluorescence from the original.

Each cell appears to defy the Square Cube Law5 due to its relatively large size, and should not be able to metabolically sustain themselves, much less replicate every 2 weeks. Furthermore, when exposed to certain conditions, metabolic rate, protein synthesis, and replication increase at an exponential rate, often resulting in lysis. Despite identical membrane composition to their smaller cousins, specimens are able to diffuse and actively transport nutrients far more efficiently, transporting glucose from the surrounding broth at a rate of 36 mg/hr. Inexplicably, when exposed to lactose in the absence of glucose, SCP-2946 quadruples its rate of protein produced. In some instances, the cells may even rupture or perish due to extreme overexpression of toxic or large proteins.

SCP-2946 possesses cellular structures normally only found in animal, plant, or fungal cells. These features allow them to produce proteins which are normally non-functional in bacteria. Additionally, due to the presence of certain structures, individuals are able to secrete proteins into the surrounding broth, making collection and purification of proteins via lysis of individual cells6 unnecessary. This makes SCP-2946 an invaluable tool for research purposes, enabling collection of large amounts of protein within a short period of time using relatively few resources in the long term.

Most individual cells are relatively harmless during normal growth states. When deprived of glucose, entities will move towards the nearest source, including humans, utilizing glucose sensors7 in their flagella.

Upon reaching a source, SCP-2946 will begin secreting corrosive fluid8, to break down tissue and acquire glucose. Strangely, the organism is not immune to its own corrosive secretions, often rupturing itself long before it digests the target source. Rate of digestion depends on the number of active individuals secreting onto a subject. A single specimen is incapable of digesting a human host alone, and will perish if it engages in prolonged excretion. 5 or more individuals are capable of digesting a human source in as little as 30 minutes, and are able to survive due to the reduced exposure time. In most cases, consciousness in the human host is not lost until the subject expires.

Single cells carry several million copies of a large, single, circular genome, and may carry 10s of millions of copies of one or more plasmids, depending on the current line of experimentation.

SCP-2946 is extremely susceptible to foreign genetic material when undergoing transformation procedures. Unlike its smaller cousins, non-plasmid DNA taken up by the cells is immediately integrated into its genome. Uptake of animal, plant, fungal, and even protist DNA have drastic and poorly understood effects on the physiological characteristics of impacted cells.

Notably, when one group of cells was accidentally exposed to a strand of hair from Dr. ████████, effects were immediate. All cells lost their rod shape, became circular, and began dividing rapidly, clinging to each other until individual cells were indistinguishable. The mass of expanding cells formed large scale organs and limbs, including a heart, 2 lungs, what appeared to be hair follicle cells, and [REDACTED]. Before the tank was sealed, Junior Researcher ████ █████ was swatted into the tank by one of the flailing limbs. The cells swarmed her shortly thereafter, whereupon visual contact was lost. Upon being sealed, the tank was flooded with hydrochloric acid.

Following this incident, current containment protocols were put in place. Inquiries into further effects of foreign genetic material on susceptible individuals are now required to undergo level 4 review and approval. (See Experiment log E-2946-13 and Extended Collaborative Experiment log E-2946-34).

Discovery: SCP-2946 was discovered on August 13th 1994 by a group of Foundation researchers exploring SCP-2378. The organism was first observed leaping from a pool of bile salts towards a large Stalactite11 missing several times before hitting and breaking the structure off and into the pool, where it immediately dissolved. Intrigued, researchers set up recording and measurement equipment, and spent time collecting environmental samples, pH measurements, and observations. At approximately 14:00 hours, the researchers broke for lunch, and Dr.███████ was seen consuming several very sugary foods. At 14:10, Dr.███████ was swarmed from behind by approximately 30 instances of the entity, and dragged into the bile salt pool. The remaining members of the research team immediately called for a containment crew, and made efforts to fish Dr. ███████ from the pool, using collection nets, before she disappeared from visible view.

Containment crews arrived at 14:20 and were briefed on the situation. ██ individual cells were captured, without incident, once the pool was drained. Dr. ███████'s remains could not be located. All instances of SCP-2946 and more than 30 100-kg stalactites were collected by both the research team and containment crew for study, and appeasement purposes.

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