Archive for October 22nd, 2014

October 22, 2014

About yesterday’s comic

by Janie Jones

So it occurs to me that many of you non cell biologists might enjoy the first comic from yesterday’s post a little more if I explain what is going on.

The cell membrane is made of a double layer of phospholipids.  A phospholipid has a “head” region which contains a phosphate group and a glycerol molecule.  This head has a negative charge that can react with water and is therefore known as “hydrophillic,”or water loving.  The remainder of the the phospholipid consists of two “tails” made of lipids, (fat).  Most of you know fat and water don’t mix, so the tail portion of the phospholipid is known as “hydrophobic,” or water fearing. This dual nature of the phospholipid bi-layer membrane ensures that water is sectioned off on either side of the barrier but never between the phospholipid layers because the tails are hydrophobic.

Now try to apply this new knowledge to the fact that the comic is showing a membrane of phospholipids and one of the tails has a water gun…

Any chuckles yet?

Here’s a bonus comic for wading through that explanation:

two blood cells met cartoon*This image/joke has been spotted everywhere on the internet.  Just google it….