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Biomarker Lipids ||

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Definition of a lipid

Lipids are organic compounds containing mainly carbon and hydrogen with subsidiary oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur. Lipids are made by living organisms and are operationally defined as being insoluble or immiscible in water, and soluble in non-polar solvents such as chloroform. Lipids comprise a tremendous array of chemical structures and functions. Most importantly, lipids are the building blocks of organismic cell membranes, that is, the stuff that separates the cell’s self from its non-self.

Following is a rough map as to how to think about lipid classification.

Lipid classification

>>Biomarker classification


>>>>Acetogenic lipids


>>>>Acyclic and cyclic isoprenoids

>>>>Polycyclic isoprenoids






>>>Diagenesis and catagenesis

>>Biomarker as Source Indicator

>>>Steranes, hopanes etc


>>>Environmental Indicators

>>>Indicators of Euxinia

>>Experimental methods to extract biomarkers

>>>Source rock