Related topics: cells · cell membrane · protein · diabetes · heart disease

Nano-bio-computing lipid nanotablet

Nanoparticles can be used as substrates for computation, with algorithmic and autonomous control of their unique properties. However, scalable architecture to form nanoparticle-based computing systems is lacking at present. ...

Sonic booms in nerves and lipid membranes

(—Neurons might not be able to send signals as fast as electrons in wires or photons in fiber, but what if they can communicate using miniature sonic booms? That would be quite a revolutionary discovery. A group ...

Designing biological movement on the nanometer scale

Synthetic proteins have been created that move in response to their environment in predictable and tunable ways. These motile molecules were designed from scratch on computers, then produced inside living cells.

Comparison shows value of DNA barcoding in selecting nanoparticles

The first direct comparison of in vitro and in vivo screening techniques for identifying nanoparticles that may be used to transport therapeutic molecules into cells shows that testing in lab dishes isn't much help in predicting ...

Engineers build biologically powered chip

Columbia Engineering researchers have, for the first time, harnessed the molecular machinery of living systems to power an integrated circuit from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of life. They achieved this ...

Novel technique enables air-stable water droplet networks

( —A simple new technique to form interlocking beads of water in ambient conditions could prove valuable for applications in biological sensing, membrane research and harvesting water from fog.

3-D printer builds synthetic tissues

A custom-built programmable 3D printer can create materials with several of the properties of living tissues, Oxford University scientists have demonstrated.

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Lipids are a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and others. The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules.

Lipids may be broadly defined as hydrophobic or amphiphilic small molecules; the amphiphilic nature of some lipids allows them to form structures such as vesicles, liposomes, or membranes in an aqueous environment. Biological lipids originate entirely or in part from two distinct types of biochemical subunits or "building blocks": ketoacyl and isoprene groups. Using this approach, lipids may be divided into eight categories: fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, saccharolipids and polyketides (derived from condensation of ketoacyl subunits); and sterol lipids and prenol lipids (derived from condensation of isoprene subunits).

Although the term lipid is sometimes used as a synonym for fats, fats are a subgroup of lipids called triglycerides. Lipids also encompass molecules such as fatty acids and their derivatives (including tri-, di-, and monoglycerides and phospholipids), as well as other sterol-containing metabolites such as cholesterol. Although humans and other mammals use various biosynthetic pathways to both break down and synthesize lipids, some essential lipids cannot be made this way and must be obtained from the diet.

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