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The cell membrane (also called the plasma membrane) is the outer lining of a eukaryotic cell. This membrane serves to separate and protect a cell from its surrounding environment and is made mostly from a double layer of proteins and lipids, fat-like molecules. Embedded within this membrane are a variety of other molecules that act as channels and pumps, moving different molecules into and out of the cell. A form of plasma membrane is also found in prokaryotes, but in this organism it is usually referred to as the cell membrane.
- What is a Cell? by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.