AS AQA Biology: Cell Membrane

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Cell Membrane

The cell membrane surrounds all living cells and controls the movement in and out of substances and is responsible for other properties of the cell too. Membranes are composed of proteins, phospholipids and carbohydrates arranged in a fluid mosaic structure.

The cell membrane is given the term 'fluid mosaic' as the phospholipids form a thin but flexible sheet which is both fluid and rigid enough to perform its function. The 'mosaic' comes from the appearance of the proteins and carbohydrates from a bird’s eye view.

The phospholipids are arranged in a 'bilayer' with the hydrophobic fatty acid tails facing inward and the hydrophilic phosphate heads facing outward; the

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