Build a Model of the Cell Membrane
Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Life Science
- To build a model of the cell membrane.
- To investigate how the cell membrane regulates what moves into and out of cells.
- What molecules of the cell membrane do the cotton swabs represent?
- If a molecule needs to enter or exit the cell and it cannot fit between the phospholipids how can it cross the membrane?
The cell membrane is a barrier that separates a cell from the external environment. It controls the passage of materials into and out of the cell. The membrane is made up of a double layer of phospholipids, called the lipid bilayer. Scattered between these phospholipids are various other molecules such as protein channels, pumps, cholesterol, and carbohydrate chains. With the cooperation of the phospholipids and other embedded molecules the passage of molecules into and out of the cell is controlled. Think of the cell membrane as the exterior walls and roof of your home. It’s scattered with a number of windows, doors and vents. Just like the cell, these items help to control what enters and exits your home.
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