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Fatty Acids: Organic, monobasic acids derived from hydrocarbons by the equivalent of oxidation of a methyl group to an alcohol, aldehyde, and then acid. Fatty acids are saturated and unsaturated (Fatty acids, Unsaturated). (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)

What are Lipids?

JoVE 10683

Lipids are a group of structurally and functionally diverse organic compounds that are insoluble in water. Certain classes of lipids, such as fats, phospholipids, and steroids are crucial to all living organisms. They function as structural components of cellular membranes, energy reservoirs, and signaling molecules.

Lipids are structurally and functionally diverse group of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds that consist of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds are nonpolar, which means that the electrons between the atoms are shared equally. The individual nonpolar bonds impart an overall nonpolar characteristic to the hydrocarbon compound. Additionally, nonpolar compounds are hydrophobic, or “water-hating.” This means they do not form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, rendering them nearly insoluble in water. Depending on the chemical composition, lipids can be divided into different classes. The biologically important classes of lipids are fats, phospholipids, and steroids. The hydrocarbon backbone of fat has three carbon atoms. Each carbon carries a hydroxyl (–OH) group, making it glycerol. To form a fat, each of the hydroxyl groups of glycerol is linked to a fatty acid. A fatty acid is a long hydrocarbon chain with a carboxyl grou

 Core: Macromolecules

Conversion of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters by Saponification for Uk'37 Paleothermometry

JoVE 10158

Source: Laboratory of Jeff Salacup - University of Massachusetts Amherst


The product of an organic solvent extraction, a total lipid extract (TLE), is often a complex mixture of hundreds, if not thousands, of different compounds. The researcher is often only interested in a handful of compounds or, if interested in many, may need to remove unwanted constituents that…

 Earth Science

An Overview of Alkenone Biomarker Analysis for Paleothermometry

JoVE 10219

Source: Laboratory of Jeff Salacup - University of Massachusetts Amherst


Throughout this series of videos, natural samples were extracted and purified in search of organic compounds, called biomarkers, that can relate information on climates and environments of the past. One of the samples analyzed was sediment. Sediments accumulate…

 Earth Science

Macromolecules- Concept

JoVE 10590

Biomolecules

Organisms contain a wide variety of organic molecules with numerous functions which depend on the chemical structures and properties of these molecules. All organic molecules contain a carbon backbone and hydrogen atoms. The carbon atom is central in the formation of a vast variety of organic molecules ranging in size, shape and complexity; inorganic molecules on the other…

 Lab Bio

Dietary Connections

JoVE 10746

Metabolic pathways are interconnected. The cellular respiration processes that convert glucose to ATP—such as glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, and the citric acid cycle—tie into those that break down other organic compounds. As a result, various foods—from apples to cheese to guacamole—end up as ATP. In addition to carbohydrates, food also contains proteins and lipids—such as cholesterol and of these organic compounds are used as energy sources (i.e., to produce ATP). The human body possesses several enzymes that break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. While glucose can enter glycolysis directly, some simple sugars, such as fructose and galactose, are first converted into sugars that are intermediates of the glycolytic pathway. Proteins are broken down by enzymes into their constituent amino acids, which are usually recycled to create new proteins. However, if the body is starving or there is a surplus of amino acids, some amino acids can lose their amino groups and subsequently enter cellular respiration. The lost amino groups are converted into ammonia and incorporated into waste products. Different amino acids enter cellular respiration at different stages, including glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, and the citric acid cycle. Amino acids can also be produced from intermediates in cellular respiration processes. Lipids, such as choleste

 Core: Cellular Respiration

Membrane Fluidity

JoVE 10972

Cell membranes are composed of phospholipids, proteins, and carbohydrates loosely attached to one another through chemical interactions. Molecules are generally able to move about in the plane of the membrane, giving the membrane its flexible nature called fluidity. Two other features of the membrane contribute to membrane fluidity: the chemical structure of the phospholipids and the presence of cholesterol in the membrane. Fatty acids tails of phospholipids can be either saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids have single bonds between the hydrocarbon backbone and are saturated with the maximum number of hydrogens. These saturated tails are straight and can, therefore, pack together tightly. In contrast, unsaturated fatty acid tails contain double bonds between carbon atoms, giving them a kinked shape and preventing tight packing. Increasing the relative proportion of phospholipids with unsaturated tails results in a more fluid membrane. Organisms like bacteria and yeasts that experience environmental temperature fluctuations are able to adjust the fatty acid content of their membranes to maintain a relatively constant fluidity. In cell membranes, cholesterol is able to interact with heads of phospholipids, partly immobilizing the proximal part of the hydrocarbon chain. This interaction decreases the ability of polar molecules to cross the membrane.

 Core: Membranes and Cellular Transport

Mitochondria

JoVE 10694

Mitochondria and peroxisomes are organelles that are the primary sites of oxygen usage in eukaryotic cells. Mitochondria carry out cellular respiration—the process that converts energy from food into ATP—the primary form of energy used by cells. Peroxisomes carry out a variety of functions, primarily breaking down different substances such as fatty acids.

Peroxisomes contain up to 50 enzymes and are surrounded by a single membrane. They carry out oxidative reactions that break down molecules and produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a by-product. H2O2 is toxic to cells, but the peroxisome contains an enzyme—catalase—that converts H2O2 into harmless water and oxygen. In addition, catalase uses H2O2 to break down alcohol in the liver into aldehyde and water. However, since H2O2 is produced in very low quantities in the body, other enzymes primarily degrade alcohol. A critical function of the peroxisome is to break down fatty acids in a process called β oxidation. The resulting product—acetyl-CoA—is released into the cytosol and can travel to the mitochondria, where it is used to produce ATP. In mammalian cells, the mitochondria also carry out β oxidation, as well as using products from the catabolism o

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

First Law of Thermodynamics

JoVE 10726

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. This can be demonstrated within a classic food web where light energy from the sun is harnessed as radiant energy by plants, converted into chemical energy, and stored as complex carbohydrates. The vegetation is then consumed by animals and during the digestion process, the sugars release energy as heat. The sugars also produce chemical energy that either gets used up doing work, stored in macromolecules like glycogen and fatty acids or are consumed by a predator. The waste products and dead organic matter from animals are then decomposed by bacteria and fungi and returned to the soil to provide food for plants to grow and the cycle continues. During the process of photosynthesis, the photons are used to make complex carbohydrates that the plants use to live and grow, and oxygen is released into the atmosphere. The plants eventually become food for animals—herbivores—and during the digestion process, the sugars are broken down and energy is released—either as heat or to provide chemical energy from glucose, to drive cellular processes that allow the animal to survive and reproduce. It can also be stored in macromolecules as chemical energy. For example, glycogen can be stored in the liver or muscles and can be quickly accessed in tim

 Core: Metabolism

Dehydration Synthesis

JoVE 10681

Dehydration synthesis is the chemical process in which two molecules are covalently linked together with the release of a water molecule. Many physiologically important compounds are formed by dehydration synthesis, for example, complex carbohydrates, proteins, DNA, and RNA.

Sugar molecules can be covalently linked together by dehydration synthesis, also called condensation reaction. The resulting stable bond is called a glycosidic bond. To form the bond, a hydroxyl (-OH) group from one reactant and a hydrogen atom from the other form water, while the remaining oxygen links the two compounds. For each additional bond that is formed, another molecule of water is released, literally dehydrating the reactants. For example, individual glucose molecules (monomers) can undergo repeated dehydration synthesis to create a long chain or branched compound. Such a compound, with repeating identical or similar subunits, is called a polymer. Given the diverse set of sugar monomers, and variation in the location of the linkage, a virtually unlimited number of sugar polymers can be built. Plants produce simple carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in a process called photosynthesis. Plants store the resulting sugars (i.e., energy) as starch, a polysaccharide that is created from glucose molecules by dehydration synthesis. Cellulose is likewise buil

 Core: Macromolecules

Accessory Organs

JoVE 10831

Accessory organs are those that participate in the digestion of food but do not come into direct contact with it like the mouth, stomach, or intestine do. Accessory organs secrete enzymes into the digestive tract to facilitate the breakdown of food.

Salivary glands secrete saliva—a complex liquid containing in part water, mucus, and amylase. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that begins breaking down starches and other carbohydrates even before they reach the stomach. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are the other accessory organs involved in digestion. All three secrete enzymes into the duodenum of the small intestine via a series of channels called the biliary tree. The liver and gallbladder work together to release bile into the duodenum. The liver produces bile, but it is stored in the gallbladder for secretion when needed. Bile is a mixture of water, bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin. Bile salts contain hydrophobic areas and hydrophilic areas which allows it to engage with both fats and water. Thus it breaks down large fat globules into smaller ones—a process called emulsification. Bilirubin is a waste product that accumulates when the liver breaks hemoglobin from red blood cells. The globin is recycled and the heme, which contains iron, is excreted in the bile. The presence of bilirubin is what gives feces its brown color

 Core: Nutrition and Digestion

Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis

JoVE 10879

The response to stress—be it physical or psychological, acute or chronic—involves activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is part of the neuroendocrine system because it involves both neuronal and hormonal communication. Its function is to regulate homeostatic systems—metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune—providing the necessary means to respond to a stressor. In response to stress, the neurons in the hypothalamus release corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH, into the bloodstream. CRH takes a short journey to the pituitary gland where it stimulates the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. The site of action for ACTH are the adrenal glands which lay just on the surface of the kidneys. When stimulated, the adrenal glands release two types of stress messages. Neural stimulation initiates the first message—the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla. This activates the sympathetic nervous system resulting in elevated heart rate, blood flow, and respiration—processes designed to activate states of alertness and arousal. These two chemicals are also referred to as adrenaline and noradrenaline, respectively. ACTH initiates the second message—the release of glucocorticoids by the adrenal cortex. In humans, cortisol is the primary hormone

 Core: Endocrine System

Lipid Digestion

JoVE 10832

Lipids are large molecules that are generally not water-soluble. Since most of the digestive enzymes in the human body are water-based, there are specific steps the body must take to break down lipids and make them available for use.

Lingual lipase is an enzyme secreted by the acinar cells of the sublingual gland that aids lipid digestion. Although found in saliva, it plays only a minimal role in breaking down lipids in the mouth. Interestingly, lingual lipase has a pH optimum of 3.5-6.0 and is not activated until chewed food enters the acidic environment of the stomach. Gastric lipase is an acidic lipase that is secreted by the gastric chief cells in the lining of the stomach. Lingual lipase and gastric lipase comprise the two acidic lipases found in the human digestive system. These lipases are active in the stomach but rapidly inactivated by bile acids in the duodenum. Together, gastric lipase and lingual lipase account for 10-30% of lipid hydrolysis that occurs in human adults, with gastric lipase contributing the most. Given the low concentrations of pancreatic lipase and bile salts in the neonatal phase, the acidic lipases are critical for lipid digestion and account for 50% of lipid hydrolysis in neonates. Bile contains bile salts, lecithin, and cholesterol-derived substances, so it acts as an emulsifier in the duodenum of the small i

 Core: Nutrition and Digestion

Introduction to Titration

JoVE 5699

Source: Laboratory of Dr. Yee Nee Tan — Agency for Science, Technology, and Research


Titration is a common technique used to quantitatively determine the unknown concentration of an identified analyte.1-4 It is also called volumetric analysis, as the measurement of volumes is critical in titration. There are many types of titrations…

 General Chemistry

Liquid Phase Reactor: Sucrose Inversion

JoVE 10408

Source: Kerry M. Dooley and Michael G. Benton, Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA


Both batch and continuous flow reactors are used in catalytic reactions. Packed beds, which use solid catalysts and a continuous flow, are the most common configuration. In the absence of an extensive recycle…

 Chemical Engineering

Just-noticeable Differences

JoVE 10229

Source: Laboratory of Jonathan Flombaum—Johns Hopkins University


Psychophysics is a branch of psychology and neuroscience that tries to explain how physical quantities are translated into neural firing and mental representations of magnitude. One set of questions in this area pertains to just-noticeable differences (JND): How much…

 Sensation and Perception

Soxhlet Extraction of Lipid Biomarkers from Sediment

JoVE 10096

Source: Laboratory of Jeff Salacup - University of Massachusetts Amherst


Every lab needs standards that track the performance, accuracy, and precision of its instruments over time to ensure a measurement made today is the same as a measurement made a year from now (Figure 1). Because standards must test the…

 Earth Science

Performing 1D Thin Layer Chromatography

JoVE 5499

Source: Laboratory of Dr. Yuri Bolshan — University of Ontario Institute of Technology


Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a chromatographic method used to separate mixtures of non-volatile compounds. A TLC plate consists of a thin layer of adsorbent material (the stationary phase) fixed to an appropriate solid support such as…

 Organic Chemistry

A Fluorescence-based Assay for Characterization and Quantification of Lipid Droplet Formation in Human Intestinal Organoids

1Division of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, 2Regenerative Medicine Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, 3Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University

JoVE 60150

 Medicine

Inducing and Characterizing Vesicular Steatosis in Differentiated HepaRG Cells

1Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University, 2Department of Internal Medicine - DMISM, Sapienza University, 3Center for Life Nano Science@Sapienza, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 4Pasteur Institute Italy-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, 5INSERM U1052-Cancer Research Center of Lyon, 6Department of Hepatology, Croix Rousse Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon

JoVE 59843

 Medicine

Development of Sulfidogenic Sludge from Marine Sediments and Trichloroethylene Reduction in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

1Bioprocesses Department, Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology, Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria de Biotecnología, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 2Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Escuela Superior de Medicina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional

JoVE 52956

 Environment

Analyzing Beneficial Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Functions During Experimental Colitis

1Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, 2Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neurosciences, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, 3Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute

JoVE 55095

 Medicine

Single-throughput Complementary High-resolution Analytical Techniques for Characterizing Complex Natural Organic Matter Mixtures

1Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, 3Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University, 4Bruker Daltonics Inc., 5Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

JoVE 59035

 Environment

Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic Clamps in Conscious, Unrestrained Mice

1Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, 2Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Department of Pediatrics and Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine

JoVE 3188

 Medicine

Quantification of three DNA Lesions by Mass Spectrometry and Assessment of Their Levels in Tissues of Mice Exposed to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter

1Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, 2Departamento de Farmacociências, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, 3Laboratório de Poluição Atmosfêrica Experimental - LIM05, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, 4Instituto de Estudos Avançados, Universidade de São Paulo, 5Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo

JoVE 59734

 Immunology and Infection
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