1. RNA is involved in decoding the genetic information contained in DNA.

2. RNA is a single-stranded molecule and contains uracil in place of the thymine in DNA. (Figure 2.23)

2.7 Lipids

1. Lipids are a heterogeneous group of molecules that are slightly soluble in water and very soluble in most organic solvents.

2. They comprise two groups: simple and compound lipids.

Simple Lipids

1. Simple lipids contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and may be liquid or solid at room temperature.

2. Fats are common simple lipids and consist of glycerol bound to fatty acids. (Figure 2.26)

3. Fatty acids may be saturated, in which the fatty acid contains no double bonds between carbon atoms, or unsaturated, in which one or more double bonds exist. (Figure 2.27)

4. Some simple lipids consist of a four-membered ring, and include steroids and sterols. (Figure 2.28)

38 Chapter 2 The Molecules of Life Compound Lipids

1. Compound lipids contain elements other than carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

2. Phospholipids are common and important examples of compound lipids. They are essential components of bilayer membranes in cells. (Figure 2.29)

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