J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Molecular graphics image of cholesterol, a steroid molecule widely distributed in animal cells. It is an essential constituent of the cell membrane, a precursor to the formation of sex hormones & the source of bile salts. Unfortunately, it is also a constituent of the lipid plaque that forms on the insides of arteries in atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries - although its role is obscure. This image shows the atomic backbone (stick forms) & Van der Waals spheres - a representation of one of the weak atomic forces that conveys an impression of the steric (non-physical) size of each atom. Hydrogen atoms are not shown.
Model release not required. Property release not required.