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The cell membrane is a phospholipid bilayer consisting of phosphate heads on the outside with 2 two fatty acid tails attached to each phosphate on the inside. The phosphate head is hydrophilic (water loving) while the fatty acid tails are hydrophobic (scared of water). The hydrophilic region is polar while the hydrophobic region is nonpolar. Since the lipid bilayer consists of both poalr & nonpolar regions, it is considered to be an amphipathic molecule. There are many proteins & receptors embedded in the cell membrane that carries out many functions.
Cholesterol in the cell membrane makes it more fluid, helping molecules pass through better. The membrane is semi-permeable, allowing only nonpolar & small molecules to pass through via simple diffusion, and stopping large, polar molecules from passing through.
Here is a pic to help you visualize it: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Cell_membrane_detailed_diagram_4.svg
what is amphipathic molecule????define
Amphipathic molecules are molecules that contain both a hydrophilic (polar) and a hydrophobic (nonpolar) region.