subject: glycomics

Virus-Fighting Milk Sugars

Virus-Fighting Milk Sugars

For many years, researchers have known that breastfed infants gain some protection from certain viral infections. Occasionally, however, viruses like HIV, a kind of herpes called cytomegalovirus, and HTLV-1, which is linked to leukemia, are transmitted in breast milk from mom to babe. Explaining why infection occurs in some mother-infant pairs but not in many others remains a pressing question. Lately, a series of papers has implicated the complex and highly variable jumble of carbohydrates found in breast milk. In most cases these appear to protect infants from viral infection. But, on rare occasions, they may facilitate it. 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...

The new frontier of milk quality & nutrition

The new frontier of milk quality & nutrition

Lights, camera, action! If you wandered onto a set filled with cameras, mass spectrometers, and detectors that enable scientists to see fragments otherwise invisible, you may believe this is an episode of Crime Scene Investigation! In reality, this is the scene of the new frontier of milk analysis. Read More...

Save Time, Read “SPLASH!”

Save Time, Read "SPLASH!"

Imagine if you spent every minute of every day reading scientific articles that have the keyword “milk” associated with them. Suppose you read one article per hour, 24 hours a day. Even with this impossible regimen, you could not cover even half of the milk-related articles published each year. In 2011, there were over 20,000 journal articles published with the keyword “milk” in the PubMed, CAB Abstracts, Agricola, and FSTA databases. The purpose of “SPLASH! milk science update”, IMGC’s innovative newsletter, is to make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with the scientific literature. Much easier. Read More...

The Many Faces of Lactoferrin

Fresh out of the womb, a newborn baby is challenged with armies of disease-causing microbes. How does he survive this onslaught? In some parts of the world, he doesn't. Millions of babies die each year in the first few months of life from common infections. A recent publication by Barboza and colleagues unfolds how a major milk protein, lactoferrin, displays different "faces", depending on which pathogens are present. Read More...

The Milky500: five hundred worthy proteins

The Milky500: five hundred worthy proteins

The Indy 500 is perhaps the most famous car race in the United States. Unlike every other sporting competition in the world, the legendary 500 mile car race is celebrated with the victor drinking not Champagne, but rather a bottle of fresh milk! The latest research suggests that the term "500" may have more to do with the milk, than with the miles. Read More...

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