MCAT Physical : Structural Lipids

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Physical

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Structural Lipids

What properties of phospholipids make the formation of cell membranes possible?

Possible Answers:

Phospholipids are completely polar

Phospholipids are amphiphatic

Phospholipids are inorganic

Phospholipids are completely non-polar

Correct answer:

Phospholipids are amphiphatic

Explanation:

Phospholipids have two fatty acid tails made of hydrocarbons, which are nonpolar, and a phosphate head, which is polar. Their structure allows phospholipids to group up into a bilayer such that the polar heads face the outside environment while the non-polar fatty tails face inward, protected from the aqueous environment. Phospholipids are not completely polar or non-polar, they are amphiphathic.

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