Topic: lactation

Insulin Control = More Mammary Tissue, More Milk, Bigger Babies

Insulin Control = More Mammary Tissue, More Milk, Bigger Babies

We know insulin as a regulator of blood sugar, but it also influences cell growth and differentiation. This is especially relevant to mammary tissue during pregnancy and lactation. A role for insulin in lactation has been accepted for some time, but some questions have remained about its role during pregnancy—when the mammary gland is developing—and the relative roles of insulin and insulin-like growth factors. Clarifying the role of insulin in lactation was the aim of the study by Neville and colleagues. They used a mouse model system, and in an elegant approach, bred a mouse line in which the receptor for insulin was selectively deleted in the cells that produce milk. Read More...

Mining Animal Biodiversity to Improve Dairy Outcomes

Mining Animal Biodiversity to Improve Dairy Outcomes

Dairy farmers everywhere would rejoice if scientists discovered a way to breed cows that continually produce milk. The answer to this biological riddle may lie in the study of other milk-producing animals. Weird animals produce milk with various lactation strategies. Some produce all of their milk in just a couple days while others produce milk over five years. Some produce copious amounts of milk for a couple days and then not again for several weeks. By comparing the lactation strategies of different animals, researchers can identify exciting new methods of milk production. Read More...

How Breastfed Babies Control Their Own Appetite

How Breastfed Babies Control Their Own Appetite

‘Slow down, Mama!’ In contrast to breastfeeding, which allows infants to feed on demand, bottle feeding enables parents to provide set volumes of milk to babies. Latest evidence shows that breastfed babies control their appetite better than formula-fed babies, and although the mechanisms through which this occurs are not yet clear, it has been shown that this has long-term effects on appetite regulation and weight control into adulthood. Perhaps it is time to start seriously considering breastfeeding as an intervention window against the obesity epidemic. Read More...

From Mice and Cows and Kangaroos to Dairy Industry Value

From Mice and Cows and Kangaroos to Dairy Industry Value

With the development of genomic tools for dairy cows, what value do studies of lactation genomics in mice and other animals hold for dairy innovation? A recent study reported in the January 2013 issue of Physiological Genomics is the latest in a series of studies of lactation in mice that have involved scientists affiliated with the IMGC. Read More...

How Much Milk Does a Cow Produce? Depends on Early Life Conditions

How Much Milk Does a Cow Produce? Depends on Early Life Conditions

Maternal nutritional conditions during pregnancy are known to have substantial impacts on infant development. This was most clearly demonstrated by research into the outcomes of infants from the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944. Because determination and differentiation of cell lines occur during embryonic development, nutritional conditions and other environmental insults early during pregnancy can substantially alter offspring phenotype, including behavior and general health. Read More...

Milk: Not just for moms, not just for mammals

Milk: Not just for moms, not just for mammals

Last month was Movember, during which men grow facial hair to raise awareness of men's health. I started thinking about milk moustaches and realized you can't have a milk moustache if you don't have lips. I guess we won't be seeing pigeons in any upcoming dairy ad campaigns- even though they make "milk," and it functions like the milk of mammals. "Pigeon milk" was first systematically described in the 1930s and continues to intrigue dairy scientists through today. Read More...

Tales from an often-ignored community

Tales from an often-ignored community

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? Read More...

What comes next

What comes next

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. Read More...

Recipe for cow’s milk revealed by new DNA sequencing technology

Recipe for cow’s milk revealed by new DNA sequencing technology

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?" Read More...

Meet Our Sponsors