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Cell membrane

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Cell membrane diagram.png

The cell membrane (also called the plasma membrane) is the outer lining of a cell. This structure is a feature of cells that is universal.[1] It encloses all living cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic.[1] This membrane serves to separate and protect a cell from its surrounding environment and is made mostly from a double layer of proteins and lipids, fat-like molecules. They are only 7.5 to 10 nanometers thick.[2] Embedded within this membrane are a variety of other molecules that act as channels and pumps, moving different molecules into and out of the cell. A form of plasma membrane is also found in prokaryotes, but in this organism it is usually referred to as the cell membrane.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alberts, Bruce; Johnson, Alexander; Lewis, Julian; Raff, Martin; Roberts, Keith; Walters, Peter (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell (5th ed.). New York and London: Garland Science. p. 9. ISBN 0-8153-4105-9. 
  2. Rana, Fazale (2008). The Cell´s Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator´s Artistry. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8010-6827-0. 

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