subject: fucosylation

Surprise: Cow’s Milk Sugars Are Rather Like Human Ones!

Surprise: Cow's Milk Sugars Are Rather Like Human Ones!

Pick up any textbook that runs through the sugars in milk, and you will read that human milk is unusual. It contains more oligosaccharides (medium-length sugars) than the milk of other mammals, and, in particular, most of its oligosaccharides have some subunits of fucose, a small sugar. Farmyard mammals, in contrast, do not make oligos out of fucose. At least, that was the conventional wisdom. But the distinction is now invalid. Read More...

To Secrete or Not to Secrete

To Secrete or Not to Secrete

On a cruise ship with a Norovirus outbreak, the chance of becoming infected is largely determined by a single gene: FUT2. Likewise, a mother’s “secretor status”—whether or not she secretes certain protective sugars in milk—is determined by this same gene. Want to know more about FUT2 and the protective sugars in mother's milk? Read More...

Milk-fed bacteria’s secret weapon

Milk-fed bacteria's secret weapon

If a bacterium walks into a Bar & Grill, what does he order to eat? If there are any simple sugar molecules on the menu, such as glucose, galactose, or mannose, then he’ll order a plate of them. But given these simple sugars are the first choice of pretty much any type of bacteria, the Bacteria’s Bar & Grill is likely to run out quickly. Read More...

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