P. SOLE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY P. SOLE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cell membrane. Artwork of the structure of a cell membrane. This is a plasma membrane that consists of a phospholipid bilayer. This is a dual layer of phospholipid molecules (red/orange rods with blue heads). The red/orange rod is the hydrophobic tail (a fatty acid chain) of the phospholipid. The blue head is the hydrophilic phosphate group. This bilayer structure arises due to the repulsion of the hydrophobic tails by the water that is found in and around cells. Various structures are found embedded in the membrane. Ion channels (green and orange tubes) can transmit ions in and out of the cell. Membrane proteins (green) can allow cellular recognition and trigger cellular biochemistry.
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