Table of Contents
Biomolecules Gateway Page
Jmol Tutorial

In this module:

Glycerol and Fatty Acids
Oxidation States
Bilayers and Membranes
Other Roles 1
Other Roles 2


When this module is completed, you should be able to

  • Recognize lipids and describe their roles in the cell
  • Name the parts of a fat, oil, or phospholipid
  • Describe why fats and oils store so much energy
  • Describe why phospholipids form sealed compartments spontaneously

"Everybody knows fat is bad for you, right?"

In a culture dedicated to the premise that thin is good, this is easy to believe. In reality, however, fats and oils and other similar molecules have very important roles to play in cells.

Fats and oils are part of a class of biomolecules called lipids, which are loosely defined as biomolecules that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents like hexane or chloroform. In this module you will learn about the structures of two important classes of lipids, what roles they play in the cell, and how their roles are made possible by their structures.