SPLASH! milk science update: November 2014 issue

This month’s issue features the highlights of the recent IMGC Symposium in Denmark, as well as articles on the memory of lactating rats, dairy for the lactose intolerant, and the initial microbial transfers from mother to offspring.

Lactating Helps Rats Remember

Lactating Helps Rats Remember

If you were to stop strangers on the street and ask them whether pregnancy and breastfeeding enhances or diminishes memory, some might lean towards an old wives’ tale: pregnancy is supposed to bring with it an underperforming or shrunken brain[1]. But why would this make sense from the point of view of evolution? Recently, researchers working on spatial memory in rats have made the point that it doesn’t. Instead, they have found that a specific kind of memory, called ‘object-in-place’ memory, actually improves over the course of having and nurturing an infant. Read More...

Dairy for the Lactose Intolerant

Dairy for the Lactose Intolerant

Ever watched a lactose intolerant friend shovel yogurt into their mouth, and wondered, in anticipated horror, at what the outcome may be? Strange as it may seem, fully lactose intolerant people tend have little problem digesting yogurt, even though its lactose content is approximately equal to milk's. There is no need to check for the nearest toilet. The explanation for this apparent puzzle lies with the bacteria in yogurt. Read More...

Microbial Transfer from Mother to Offspring

Microbial Transfer from Mother to Offspring

Until recently, it was thought that the maternal reproductive system is sterile, and that a baby’s first contact with bacteria was during birth while working its way through the birth canal. This long-standing dogma has been challenged by studies demonstrating that almost all tissues in the body are full of germs. Read More...