SPLASH! milk science update: February 2015

This month’s issue features a milk protein that may prevent HIV, the 1000 bulls genome project, improving brain development with certain milk fats, and how milk protein influences consumer height.

The Future of HIV, with Tenascin-C

The Future of HIV, with Tenascin-C

It has been two decades since breast milk researchers realized that some chemical details of their favorite liquid of inquiry are protective against HIV infection. The protection is far from complete, but it is evident in a statistical anomaly: more than 90% of infants exposed to HIV through the breast milk they drink—their mucosal membranes doused with the virus every few hours, for about two years—never catch it. Read More...

Towards Individualized Genomes for Dairy Cows

Towards Individualized Genomes for Dairy Cows

International cooperation between scientists has really taken off in genomic sciences, and now, in a program that has grown out of dairy genetic research, one thousand bulls are set to be immortalized by having their DNA sequenced. The so-called 1000 Bulls Genome Project is an international collaboration between scientists in Europe, USA, and Australia. The project began in 2010, when scientists were looking for a way to share the huge cost of sequencing many entire genomes. The result was the 1000 Bulls Genome Project, which spreads the costs and shares the resources to help geneticists apply their collective knowledge of cattle to improve the productivity of cattle herds. Read More...

Fats, Formula, and Brainy Babies

Fats, Formula, and Brainy Babies

Can infant formula be boosted to prevent formula-fed babies from missing out on the brain-stimulating ingredients of breast milk? Seeking to answer this important question, a new study found that a supplement of naturally occurring milk fats improved the brain development and certain cognitive abilities in newborn piglets. Read More...

Milk Protein in Diet Predicts Human Height

Milk Protein in Diet Predicts Human Height

The Dutch and Montenegrins are the tallest men in Europe, measuring in at an average height of just over six feet (1.83 m). Separated by nearly 2000 miles, what might these two countries have in common that explains their above-average stature? The results of a new study [1] suggest their height may have as much to do with what is on their dinner plate as what is in their DNA. Using data from 42 European nations, as well as the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia, Grasgruber et al. [1] found that the strongest predictor of male adult height was the population’s protein index - the amount of protein consumed from animal sources, such as dairy and pork, compared to proteins consumed from vegetable sources, such as wheat. If height is a marker for the health of a population, could the answer to improving health outcomes be as simple as dining like the Dutch? Read More...