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The structure and function of membranes, with reference to membrane constituents and different types of membrane.

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  • Essay length: 2107 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Cell Biology

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The structure and function of membranes, with reference to membrane constituents and different types of membrane.

Membranes are essential for the compartmentalisation of a cell and therefore it is clear that the cell would struggle to develop any complexity without them. Although there are many different uses for membranes, especially in the eukaryotic cell, they serve a very important energetic purpose. For instance, they can retain a concentration gradient of, for example, Hydrogen ion, which means that the cell can use membranes not only for compartmentalising reactions, but also for compartmentalisation of energy and preventing diffusion. Therefore, without a complex system of membranes, the eukaryotic cell simply would not be able to carry out as many functions as it does. The prokaryotic cell differs in the sense that it does not possess membrane-bound organelles but still has an outer cell membrane. This has meant that it cannot carry out as many functions as the eukaryotic cells but its simplicity means that reproduction is far simpler. Therefore it is the membranes of the eukaryotic cell which are of more interest

The basic constituents of all membranes are phospholipids, although there are different types of lipid present that I

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