Lipid. Lipids are nonpolar, hydrophobic compounds consisting mainly of a carbon skeleton with hydrogens attached. They typically dissolve in non polar organic solvents such as benzene or ether but tend to dissolve poorly, if at all in water.
Beyond that lipids fall into a number of not closely related groups of chemicals, some of which are familiar and some not so familiar. Previous Page
Steroids are important hormones and structural components of cell membranes. Steroids can be recognized by a characteristic four ring backbone as in this example, cholesterol shown in both ball and stick and stick representations. Note the 4 rings characteristic of steroids. Previous Page
are hydrocarbon chains of alternating double and single bonded carbon atoms.
Many are important plant defensive compounds. For example, the smell of
pine trees and the sticky sap that pine trees give off are largely mixtures
of terpenes. Steroids are built of simple three carbon terpene units called
This picture is of a simple terpene called myrcene.Previous Page
VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Previous Page, Next Page,top of page
pgd. revised 7/15//99