Item #: SCP-3966
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: A vial of SCP-3966-A is kept in frozen laboratory storage at Site-66. It is to be tested monthly for contamination. Any new compounds found to contaminate the vial sample must be spectrographically analyzed for its chemical composition and any open molecular bonds must be noted.
Additionally, medical literature submitted for publication must be examined for descriptions of SCP-3966, and any such papers are to be denied publication. In the case of an outbreak of Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS), Mobile Task Force Rho-7 ("Doctors Without Mortars") is to be deployed to establish SCP-3966 levels in both victims and living civilians in the outbreak area. Harvesting of SCP-3966 from cadavers under cover of autopsies has been approved.
Under Procedure Morpheus-4, all correspondence relating to SCP-3966 is to be saved for review by the Cognitohazard Department, but SCP-3966 is not to be subject to cognitohazard handling protocols at this time. Researchers assigned to SCP-3966 may request reassignment if they begin to suffer from periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).
Description: SCP-3966 is a neuroactive polypeptide found in humans. It is found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of over ██% of autopsy cadavers when death occurred during sleep. In the form recovered from cadavers, it is termed SCP-3966-A and has the anomalous property of having no C-terminus1. The final amino acid in SCP-3966-A has a free binding site on the carbon chain that does not show any chemical reactivity.
Protocol: Subject is administered via spinal tap under local anesthesia a dose of 2 ml of a sterile 10% isotonic solution of SCP-3966-A. Subject's vitals and EEG are monitored for biological response. 2 ml of fluid is taken after 30 seconds to rebalance cerebrospinal fluid levels.
Result: Subject undergoes a sudden withdrawal reflex behavior 11.5 seconds into the process. Subject is manually restrained but undergoes no further response, and the 2 ml sample is successfully recovered. Subject suffers increased tissue damage at the lumbar puncture site, but recovery is complete.
Subject reported a sudden "falling feeling" post-injection. EEG reported onset of Stage 1 NREM sleep approximately 1.5 seconds before reflex response. The "falling feeling," withdrawal reflex, and NREM onset are consistent with a hypnic jerk.
Biochemical analysis of the sample indicated no trace of SCP-3966-A. A new protein was recovered (labeled SCP-3966-B), and sequenced. The protein was chemically non-anomalous and ends with a C-terminus as expected. Further testing is required to determine how SCP-3966-B is constructed.
Protocol: 0.5 ml of a sterile 10% solution of SCP-3966-A administered to a petri dish containing 0.5 ml of a sterile 5% solution of gamma globulin and 5% albumin. Sample monitored for reactivity.
Result: No reactivity reported. Levels of SCP-3966-A unchanged.
Protocol: Amino acid sequencing of SCP-3966-A and SCP-3966-B via Edman degradation and mass spectrometry.
Result: SCP-3966-B sequencing complete. Total chain length: 289 amino acids.
SCP-3966-A sequencing concluded. Total chain length: 143 amino acids. The initial 142 amino acids match the N-terminus sequence of SCP-3966-B. The final amino acid was unrecoverable. Sample mass was indicated to decrease by approximately 0.70%.
Protocol: Amino acid sequencing of SCP-3966-A via Edman degradation and mass spectrometry.
Result: SCP-3966-A sequencing concluded. Total chain length: 143 amino acids. The initial 142 amino acids match the N-terminus sequence of SCP-3966-B. The final amino acid was unrecoverable. Sample mass was indicated to decrease by approximately 0.70%. Results identical to Experiment 3966-3.
Protocol: Map known amino acid sequences to the human genome.
Result: No match to human genome. Further research into genomes of other species ongoing.
Head Researcher's Note: We don't know where it comes from, but since it's not human, it must come from the environment. The CSF is bacteria-free, so it must somehow be deposited across the blood-brain barrier. The most likely candidate for an entry point is the choroid plexus, since it generates the CSF from blood plasma, but this is located deep inside the cerebrum so it is hard to examine. Will requisition neural tissues to see how else it might work. - R. Argent
Subject: Junior Researcher Pawlukojc
Protocol: Subject undergoes a spinal tap to retrieve 1 ml of cerebrospinal fluid for testing for SCP-3966.
Result: Biochemical analysis of the sample indicated no trace of SCP-3966-A. Detected levels of SCP-3966-B are the highest to date at 4.2 mg/dL, 350% what has been discovered in earlier specimens.
Protocol: Application of SCP-3966-B to viable human neural tissue harvested from SCP-596 D-class. Test tissue for binding sites.
Result: SCP-3966-B binds weakly to N-type calcium ion channels on neurons. Binding causes passive blocking of the channel, but the bond will break in the presence of changes in cell voltage potential (such as during a regular firing of the neuron). Biological activity is limited. Therapeutic function would be limited to a very mild paralytic and analgesic that would not last during normal activity.
Of note, SCP-3966-B would not cause hypnic jerks; it is essentially not a risk. I would call this an inactive protein. - R. Argent
Protocol: Application of SCP-3966-A to viable human neural tissue harvested from SCP-596 D-class. Test tissue for binding sites.
Result: SCP-3966-A binds strongly as an exotoxin to N-type calcium ion channels on neurons. Presynaptic terminals are observed to undergo a cascade misfolding, restructuring the calcium channel into an open cell pore. Neurotransmitters, ions, and cytoplasm exit the neuron rapidly through the pores, causing cell death within seconds.
Sample mass was recorded at 93.2% the pretest sample. No leaks detected. Of note, extracellular neurotransmitters were not detected and the fluid containing the tissue did not have higher concentration of calcium ions.
Huge mass change again, but no leaks? What, so the neurotransmitters and ions just vanish? What does this refolding do? - R. Argent
Protocol: Mathematical modeling of SCP-3966-A and SCP-3966-B protein folding and binding with N-type calcium channels.
Result: The protein structure of SCP-3966-A toward the N-terminus is involved in enzymatic refolding of the calcium channel into a pore, while the non-C-terminus end inserts itself into the pore. The action is similar with SCP-3966-B, except the C-terminus lobe attempts entry into the pore but fails and destabilizes the N-terminus bond, causing the channel to revert to its original configuration.
Attempts to model the protein structure in the end region of SCP-3966-A results in an inconclusive configuration.
In layman's terms: The modeling program crashed. The output made no sense and the numbers blew up. - R. Argent
Subject: Junior Researcher Pawlukojc
Protocol: Harvesting of SCP-3966-A from subject's CSF and exploratory autopsy.
Result: Subject was discovered expired in her bed at 0015 when the vital sign monitor she wore triggered an alarm. Serum analysis of CSF indicated 5.1 mg/dL of SCP-3966-A and 1.6 mg/dL of SCP-3966-B. Cause of death appeared to be SUNDS. Histological analysis of neural tissue indicates large numbers of SCP-3966-A-mediated cell pores and reduced volume of affected neurons.
Toxicological analysis indicates self-medication of cyclobenzaprine and zolpidem. It must be stressed that these are powerful spasmolytics and sedatives, which can have paralytic side effects. Cardiopulmonary system appeared unaffected, but skeletal muscle showed marked reduction in activity.
Head Researcher's Note: I got lucky. I dropped one of the CSF test tubes, but it didn't shatter and turned out to have SCP-3966-B only. I really need a nap. - R. Argent
Protocol: Continued automated search of genomic sequence for SCP-3966
Result: No full matches found. Closest match (87%) to silk proteins of SCP-848.
Head Researcher's Note: SCP-848 catches prey from God-knows-where in its webs. I don't dare take sleeping pills. If I have to sleep with the spiders, I will. - R. Argent
Subjects: Head Researcher Dr. Roderick Argent, D-51174 (Control)
Protocol: Sleep study performed in SCP-848 containment chamber
Result: Subject slept without issue for nine hours. Subject had a waking cycle at five hours in the containment chamber, and canceled control study, bringing D-51174 into the containment chamber.
Head Researcher's Note: Just couldn't let them keep tossing and turning. I slept like a baby. The D-class didn't want to join me with all the spiders again, but they didn't have a choice. They curled up, clinging to me. Took a lot to calm them down. Really didn't like spiders. I woke up to one of them crawling across my face. I kept dreaming seeing Ellie wrapped in a cocoon. The webs are particularly thick today. Gotta tell sis. I'm cured, I hope. - R. Argent
Protocol: A matrix of glass micropipettes, each patch clamped with an N-type calcium channel, is prepared. A single optical fiber is threaded to the tip of each pipette. The apparatus is then placed in an isotonic solution of 25% SCP-3966-A. Upon reconfiguration of the calcium channels into pores, the fibers are inserted into the pores and visual results recorded.
Result: Reconfiguration of channels into pores completed. Optical fibers were inserted a distance of 10 μm into the pore past the end of each pipette. External microscopy indicated no extension of the fiber past the end of the pipette. In this configuration, an image was successfully generated.