Cells in all organisms build fatty acid hydrocarbon chains and hook them up with a glycerol molecule to make energy-rich triglycerides (fat, in simple language). These are then stocked away inside cells in micron-sized bodies called lipid droplets (LDs). When glucose levels diminish, LDs are supplied to mitochondria to burn up the fatty acid chains so that ATP can be made to fuel your cells. But, did you know that the same LDs are also fueling your car? Fossil fuels are basically hydrocarbon chains that were hidden away in the LDs of creatures that died millions of years ago. There is now tremendous interest in generating bio-fuel from algae that can store large quantities of LDs. Perhaps this is why the oil companies have cared more about LDs than biologists in the recent past.

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