2.1.4 - Lipids

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Triglyceride - Made up of one molecule of glycerol with three fatty acid tails attached to it. Fatty acid molecules have long tails made of hydrocarbons. The tails are hydrophobic (water repelling). These tails make lipids insoluble in water. All fatty acids consist of the same basic structure, but the hydrocarbon tail varies

Phospholipids and triglycerides - Phospholipids are fairly similar to triglycerides except one of the fatty acid molecules is replaced by a phosphate group. The phosphate molecule is ionised (electrically charged) which makes it attract water molecules. So the phosphate part of the phospholipid is hydrophilic, whilst the rest of the molecule (fatty acid tails are hydrophobic)

The structures of lipids relate to their functions: 

  • Triglycerides- Mainly used as energy storage molecules. They are good for this because the long hydrocarbon tails of the


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