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Tales from an often-ignored community
By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #6 | Date: 09 2012

Breast milk contains bacteria. That much is known. Some studies (although not, alas, the Human Microbiome Project) have even characterized the bacterial community found in milk. But how does the composition of such a community vary among women? And how might it change over the course of lactation?

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The new frontier of milk quality and nutrition
By: Daniela Barile, Ph.D.
Issue #6 | Date: 09 2012

Lights, camera, action! If you wandered onto a set filled with cameras, mass spectrometers, and detectors that enable scientists to see fragments otherwise invisible, you may believe this is an episode of Crime Scene Investigation! In reality, this is the scene of the new frontier of milk analysis.

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What comes next
By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #5 | Date: 08 2012

Keeping funding agencies and researchers properly in the loop, Peggy Neville, who recently retired from the University of Colorado, Denver, has published a review in which she and her coauthors run through four key research priorities in the field how the components of breast milk effect an infant’s growth and health, how they impact an infant’s brain and behaviour, some key issues of mammary gland biology and, finally, how milk research can help infants born pre-term to obese or undernourished moms.

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Milk-fed bacteria’s secret weapon
By: Daniela Barile, Ph.D., Danielle G. Lemay, PhD
Issue #5 | Date: 08 2012

If a bacterium walks into a Bar & Grill, what does he order to eat? If there are any simple sugar molecules on the menu, such as glucose, galactose, or mannose, then he’ll order a plate of them. But given these simple sugars are the first choice of pretty much any type of bacteria, the Bacteria’s Bar & Grill is likely to run out quickly.

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The cow that keeps on giving
By: Ross Tellam, Ph.D.
Issue #5 | Date: 08 2012

Imagine a dairy cow without a lactational dry period. Most people would say it’s science fiction, but the discovery of bovine mammary stem cells perhaps brings this possibility a little closer to a reality.

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Which fats should be in infant formula?
By: Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D.
Issue #5 | Date: 08 2012

Human milk fat is made up of over 150 different types of fatty acids. While the mammary gland is able to synthesize many of these fatty acids, others must be supplied by fats in the mother’s diet. As human mothers are not consuming identical diets, it is not surprising that human milk fatty acid profiles vary widely among populations.

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Glyco-what?
By: Danielle G. Lemay, PhD
Issue #4 | Date: 07 2012

When is a milk protein not just a protein? Well, most of the time. Most proteins in milk are actually “glycoproteins”–protein and carbohydrates linked together. If you want to know what’s so great about a bunch of sugar molecules hooking up with a protein, read more.

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Moods and Foods
By: Katie Hinde, Ph.D.
Issue #4 | Date: 07 2012

Food is awesome. Most of us enjoy eating food. That’s because when we ingest food-particularly foods rich in sugars, fats, and salt-the dopaminergic “reward” circuitry in the brain is activated. This triggers feelings of pleasure.

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Milk vesicles uncovered
By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #4 | Date: 07 2012

As dairy animals go, Holstein cows are record breakers. They produce more milk than any other breed or species, enough to fill a large tank truck over the course of their lifetimes. But the details of what’s in their milk isn’t entirely clear. Among the mystery ingredients are those that reside within exosomes, tiny membrane-bound packages that tote around proteins from their host cell.

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Fathering 60,000 daughters – he’s got a lot to answer!
By: Ross Tellam, Ph.D.
Issue #4 | Date: 07 2012

He is legendary, fathering 60,000 daughters, most after his passing to greener pastures. He also sired many sons and grandsons who followed in his immortal footsteps. Walkaway Chief Mark is a name to remember!

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Loving Spoonful: Probiotics for health, happiness, and…swagger?
By: Daniela Barile, Ph.D., Matthew Lange
Issue #3 | Date: 06 2012

While we have long known that prebiotics can be beneficial for gut health, surprising new studies suggest that milk-derived prebiotics may also affect our happiness and our love life.

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Milk sugars keep gut cells together
By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #3 | Date: 06 2012

If a kid eats a mound of candy for breakfast, he’ll probably behave differently than if he had eaten eggs and toast. Bacteria, it turns out, are not so different.

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Dinosaur aunts, bacterial stowaways, and insect milk
By: Katie Hinde, Ph.D.
Issue #3 | Date: 06 2012

Milk is everywhere. From the dairy aisle at the grocery store to the explosive cover of the Mother’s Day issue of Time magazine, the ubiquity of milk makes it easy to take for granted. But surprisingly, milk synthesis is evolutionarily older than mammals. Milk is even older than dinosaurs.

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Recipe for cow’s milk revealed by new DNA sequencing technology
By: Ross Tellam, Ph.D.
Issue #3 | Date: 06 2012

Spock: “Captain, it’s a unique liquid formulation taken by their young to accelerate growth and development, enhance deductive reasoning and it protects them from alien invasions.”

Kirk: “Can we use the replicator to make enough to save them?”

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Adiponectin: Mother’s Fat Sends Love Letter to Baby via the Milk Express
By: Katie Hinde, Ph.D.
Issue #2 | Date: 05 2012

Body fat is not just for buffering us from famine, keeping us warm during winter, and causing our self-recrimination during swimsuit season. Our body fat is also an integral part of our endocrine signaling system. The emerging literature offers compelling insights into maternal hormones, their transfer via milk, and their consequences in the developing neonate.

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Multitasking milk oligosaccharides
By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #2 | Date: 05 2012

Like the moms who produce them, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) juggle many different tasks. As we continue to discover their functions, their to-do list continues to grow. In a recent review, Jantscher-Krenn and Bode list HMO’s well-established jobs and shift the focus onto new ones.

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The Milky500: five hundred worthy proteins
By: Daniela Barile, Ph.D., Matthew Lange
Issue #2 | Date: 05 2012

The Indy 500 is perhaps the most famous car race in the United States. Unlike every other sporting competition in the world, the legendary 500 mile car race is celebrated with the victor drinking not Champagne, but rather a bottle of fresh milk! The latest research suggests that the term “500” may have more to do with the milk, than with the miles.

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Do offspring inherit more than genes?
By: Ross Tellam, Ph.D.
Issue #2 | Date: 05 2012

What if the saying “you are what you eat” became “you are what you and your parents ate”? The written slate of life’s experiences may not be completely wiped clean between generations. How would this knowledge influence our behavior as humans? How would it change livestock production systems?

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Building baby’s brain: milk does the heavy lifting
By: Katie Hinde, Ph.D.
Issue #1 | Date: 04 2012

Milk makes a baby grow, including the baby’s brain. Scientists have recently discovered two proteins in human milk that help a baby’s brain grow and develop.

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The “ripened cheese” treatment for obesity and diabetes
By: Daniela Barile, Ph.D.
Issue #1 | Date: 04 2012

Brie cheese lovers everywhere have reason to rejoice. Researchers from the University Catholique de Louvain in Belgium have found that eating ripened cheese decreases blood sugar levels and fat tissue in obese/diabetic mice.

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The Many Faces of Lactoferrin – variation is the name of the game!
By: Ross Tellam, Ph.D.
Issue #1 | Date: 04 2012

Fresh out of the womb, a newborn baby is challenged with armies of disease-causing microbes. How does he survive this onslaught? In some parts of the world, he doesn’t. Millions of babies die each year in the first few months of life from common infections. A recent publication by Barboza and colleagues unfolds how a major milk protein, lactoferrin, displays different “faces”, depending on which pathogens are present.

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Save Time, Read “SPLASH!”
By: Danielle G. Lemay, PhD
Issue #1 | Date: 04 2012

Imagine if you spent every minute of every day reading scientific articles that have the keyword “milk” associated with them. Suppose you read one article per hour, 24 hours a day. Even with this impossible regimen, you could not cover even half of the milk-related articles published each year. In 2011, there were over 20,000 journal articles published with the keyword “milk” in the PubMed, CAB Abstracts, Agricola, and FSTA databases.

The purpose of “SPLASH! milk science update”, IMGC’s innovative newsletter, is to make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with the scientific literature. Much easier.

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