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This week’s discussion will focus on the functions of transport proteins in the phospholipid bilayer of the plasma membrane including concepts of diffusion, facilitated diffusion, osmosis, and active transport, among other functions of membrane proteins (and lipids), with special emphasis on how malfunction of the transport proteins would affect health of The Cell.
The following learning objectives should be achieved during your discussion:
• Explain the primary functions of the plasma membrane.
• Describe the structure of the phospholipid bilayer.
• Differentiate between active transport and passive transport.
• Explain the role of transport proteins and how they function.
• Name the types of substances that can pass freely through the plasma membrane and those that require the assistance of transport proteins.
• Describe how osmosis is different from diffusion and explain what will happen to the cell under various tonicities.
• Explain how the transport of substances across the plasma membrane affects major functions of organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, and the digestive system.

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