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Name: Jessica J.
Status: Student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: January 2004

Why is the cell membrane referred to as the fluid mosaic?

A mosaic is mixes different components. The cell membrane is made of two layers of lipids ( fats and oils are lipids) and embedded in this double layer are proteins. Some of the proteins extend from one side of the membrane to the other and function to move substances in and out of the cell. Some proteins are used as markers on the outside of the cell to accept incoming signals or like advertisements to the outside of the cell. The lipids can move side to side and so can't the proteins in a "fluid" like motion.


There are proteins embedded in the membrane but aren't stuck where they are. The example that is usually given is that they "bob around" kind of like icebergs in the ocean. So the positions of the membranes is constantly changing making a mosaic pattern to the membrane.


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