SPLASH! milk science update: July 2016

This issue features superior hydration with milk, tolerizing to gut microbes with milk antibodies, whale lactation strategies, and human milk proteomics.

A Beverage Hydration Index: Milk Bests Water

A Beverage Hydration Index: Milk Bests Water

What do explorers in the Sahara Desert and cops on a stakeout have in common? They would both benefit from knowing which beverages are best at promoting fluid retention. The explorers can only carry so much liquid. The cops have few opportunities to urinate. They both need to stay hydrated. Read More...

Maternal Milk Antibodies Prepare Newborn Mice to Host Commensal Gut Microbes

Maternal Milk Antibodies Prepare Newborn Mice to Host Commensal Gut Microbes

Our immune system protects us from many harmful microbes, but in doing so it needs to be able to differentiate between friend and foe. Our bodies harbor many beneficial gut bacteria that play important roles in digestion and immunity, and our immune system needs to react differently to these microbes compared with harmful pathogens. Read More...

A Whale of a (Milk) Tale

A Whale of a (Milk) Tale

Blue whales, along with other species of baleen whales, are remarkable for their ability to put on massive amounts of blubber during pregnancy. What may be even more remarkable, however, is their ability to quickly transfer that stored energy to their developing calf during lactation, all while consuming little, if any, food. But not all whales share this intense lactation strategy. The toothed whales (the evolutionary "cousins" of baleen whales) are the tortoise to the baleen whales' hare, taking the slow and steady approach to milk production that is reminiscent of humans and other primate species. Why don't the baleen whales pace themselves a bit more? Or, alternatively, why don't the toothed whales pick up some speed? The evolution of two such dramatically different strategies in these closely related marine mammals can only be understood in the context of the species' entire life course. After all, evolutionary success is not about winning a sprint, but successfully playing the long game. Read More...

The Dynamic Human Milk Proteome

The Dynamic Human Milk Proteome

Babies change a great deal in six months. Beyond the obvious that they grow bigger, considerable development occurs in all aspects of the infant’s physiology and anatomy, especially the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system. New technologies have enabled scientists to discover which proteins are in milk and how they change over time to support this unique developmental period. Read More...