Shuth closely examines the shard and is able to discover the following: The outer layer of this life form does actually consist of a fairly thick layer of crystal which is not technically alive. Beneath the initial layer of crystal Shuth finds organic material and a network of what appears to be similar to nerve strands but these nerves are not the same as what one would find in a human, Vargr, Aslan, or any other species that Shuth is familiar with.
When dissected, Shuth is able to examine the nerve strands better and with the assistance of the autodoc he is able to run a series of diagnostics and tests which show that the nerves are very much actively sending electro-chemical signals throughout the organism. There are no organs to speak of, blood vessels, etc and it is unclear how the creature is able to generate and maintain these signals but it is clear to Shuth from testing and providing stimuli that the sample he is dealing with is aware or at least reacts to stimuli. It also appears to be growing at a fairly steady rate as the nerve strands expand and somehow continue to form a crystalline structure around themselves. It would appear that the crystalline structure is akin to a turtles shell that houses and protects the creature. While not alive per se it is a part of a living creature.
When exposed to the device that the crew crafted Shuth makes an interesting discovery in that this seems to be one of the stimuli that the creature reacts to and in fact the shift in frequencies definitely appear to be in response to the device as the creature attempts to adapt; he also notes that when the device is able to dampen whatever frequency the creature is sending out at the time this causes the creature to stop growing and in fact the nerve endings begin to deteriorate. It would seem therefore that the creature is adapting to what it perceives to be a threat by shifting frequencies. Shuth might speculate that the creature somehow converts psionic energy from its environment into building materials that allow it to grow. It may not be limited to psionic energy but this is what it appears to be feeding off of at the present time which perhaps explains mental assaults that the crew has been experiencing.
Shuth would likely speculate further that this shard, and indeed nearly any shard that breaks away from the main structure, is capable of acting completely independently of the original structure and this could be a form of asexual reproduction as the creature somehow sheds these crystallized shards which then attach to the surrounding environment and begin to grow into a new individual creature.