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Thread: Hyrdophobic....membranes....lipid bilayers???? Help please.

  1. #1 Hyrdophobic....membranes....lipid bilayers???? Help please. 
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    Hi there....can anyone please help?

    How do hydrophobic areas in a membrane aid it's function?

    I know that hydrophobic areas are non-polar & they form the inner layer. I also know they act as a barrier for any substances that cross the membrane.

    Do they help with the lipid bilayer??

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman steph's Avatar
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    From what I recall, I believe the hydrophobic section of a lipid bilayer plays its part in the permeating of certain molecules through the membrane. Because the hydrophobic 'tails' of a phospholipid are fatty acids, they create an oily environment throughout the section in between the hydropillic 'heads'.
    Because this membrane is oily, only small hydrophobic (and non-polar) solutes will be abe to pass through.

    Hope this is what you're looking for


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  4. #3  
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    Hiya Steph...

    Many thanks for your reply...it's pretty much what I thought but I couldn't transfer it from my brain to paper lol....the way you have put it makes perfect sense!!

    Thanks again...it's much appreciated :-D
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman steph's Avatar
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    No problem! I know what you mean, I hate it when I have the idea in my head but just can't get it into the right words. Sometimes all you need is a promt
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    It plays a huge role in localization of transmembrane proteins, and if their wasn't a hydrophobic end you wouldn't get a lipid bilayer. If it was only the hydrophilic head they would desolve in water. Sterols are more responsible for membrane fluidity.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    The wikipedia page on lipid bilayers has some good pictures if you want to visualize it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipid_bilayer
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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