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17.describe the characteristics of lipids and where they are needed in the cell/organism.


18.describe the general structure of a lipid and phospholipid including the type of linkage involved, and relate this structure to their structural and chemical properties.

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. distinguish between a saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids and be able to identify structural formulae of each.
  2. identify glycerol and fatty acids as the monomers of triglycerides.
  3. distinguish between a triglyceride and a phospholipid.
  4. give the biochemical properties of triglycerides and phospholipids and relate these properties to the functional groups and linkages in the molecules.​
  5. state the function of lipids (including phospholipids and steroids)  to the cell/organism.

The lipids include the fats, oils and steroids.  Different lipids have different functions in the body.  Lipids may be stored at specific sites in the body. Our emphasis will be on the triglycerides.

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Lipids are esters of Fatty Acids and an alcohol.

Source: M. O'Mahony, open source figures



Source: M O'Mahony

Molecular Workbench

Go to the site:

and select Lipids and Carbs.

Sections 3,4 and 5 are about Lipids.

This simulator requires Java.

Source: Molecular Workbench, The Concord Consortium