subject: transcriptomics

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Epigenetics of Milk-Making: Why a Few Atoms Matter

The Epigenetics of Milk-Making: Why a Few Atoms Matter

Last month in SPLASH!, we learned that early life conditions can influence a cow’s future milk production (see Katie Hinde’s article). But how does this happen? Why does the amount of energy available to a female fetus or calf influence how much milk her mammary gland produces later in life? 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...

Human milk contains PLURIPOTENT stem cells

Human milk contains PLURIPOTENT stem cells

Last month during the Bi-Annual Meeting of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation in gorgeous Trieste, Italy, one could hear a pin drop when Dr. Foteini Hassiotou presented her and colleagues' ground-breaking work on human stem cells in breast milk. 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...