Fats’ split personality

Coloured blobs of paint on a plate

Discover why a 'split personality' makes fat molecules key to life!


The ability of fat molecules (lipids) to spontaneously self-assemble in water provides the structural basis for the membranes which surround biological cells, the building blocks of all living organisms. It’s a skill that comes from their love– hate relationship with H20 made up, as they are, of a water-loving 'head' region at one end and a water-hating 'tail' region at the other. With a simple experiment you can try at home, make use of fat molecules’ split personality to create beautiful complex artwork that you can take home with you.