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Unformatted text preview: interacting with water molecules. Phospholipids spontaneously form a bilayer in a watery environment. They arrange themselves so that the polar heads are oriented toward the water and the fatty acid tails are oriented toward the inside of the bilayer (see the diagram below). In general, nonpolar molecules do not interact with polar molecules. This can be seen when oil (nonpolar) is mixed with water (polar). Polar molecules interact with other polar molecules and ions. For example table salt (ionic) dissolves in water (polar). The bilayer arrangement shown below enables the nonpolar fatty acid tails to remain together, avoiding the water. The polar phosphate groups are oriented toward the water. Membranes that surround cells and surround many of the structures within cells are primarily phospholipid bilayers ....
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- Fall '10