SPLASH! milk science update: September 2013 issue

This month’s issue covers a breakthrough study on the expression of milk-making genes in humans, the genetic selection of the best dairy cows, an archeological discovery of ancient cheesemaking in Europe, and future opportunities in milk metabolomics.

Enjoy!

Visions of Human Milk Production

Visions of Human Milk Production

One cell, all by itself, can make milk. A single cell makes a very tiny amount, however, while more of them working together make a copious supply (or so we hope). That some mothers are not able to make enough milk is exactly what motivated scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of California, Davis to determine what genes are turned "on" to make milk. Read More...

What Makes a Good Dairy Cow?

What Makes a Good Dairy Cow?

Cattle have been domesticated since the Neolithic Age, but did Stone Age farmers select their cattle? And what about the thousands of years between first domestication and the modern era, how much selection has taken place? In a newly published study, Utsunomiya and colleagues have brought together cattle genetic data from around the world to reveal those regions of the genome that light up with the hallmarks of selection. Read More...

Europe’s First Cheese Makers

Europe's First Cheese Makers

Neolithic farmers would have been hard-pressed to come up with a way to reduce the lactose content in milk. One clever way to do this is by allowing bacteria to digest the milk sugar for you, which also just happens to be a critical first step in the production of cheese. A study published in Nature reveals the origins of cheese making in Europe. Read More...

Great Expectations for Milk Metabolomics

Great Expectations for Milk Metabolomics

A quick Internet search with the words "genomics" retrieves about 14 million hits, whereas the same search with the word "metabolomics" retrieves a mere 1.1 million hits. This alone is a fair indication that within the "omics" family there are different generations, and metabolomics is one of its youngest members. Read More...