subject: miRNA

The Fifteen Lives of Mammary Cells

The Fifteen Lives of Mammary Cells

How do mammary cells change and gain the ability to make milk at each birth? Scientists, at present, only have fragmentary information and little detail about the hierarchy of mammary cells contributing to the lactation cycle beginning at each pregnancy. A cellular hierarchy is like a family tree. It shows the relationships between different types of cells i.e., who begat whom. Knowledge of cellular hierarchies in mammary tissue could help answer many difficult questions. Which cells (progenitor cells) give rise to the cells that make milk or cells that form part of the mammary tissue structure supporting lactation? How do mammary epithelial cells cease producing milk after weaning? Which mammary cells develop into breast cancer and why? Recently, a group of investigators produced a massive molecular resource that may help answer these and many other questions relating to mammary tissue function. Importantly, the investigators made the resource available to all scientists to maximize its potential for additional discoveries. Read More...

Ancient DNA Provides the Clue to Modern Cattle

Modern dairy cows are as elite as Olympic athletes. They are champion milk producers and enable humans to turn fodder into dairy food with incredible efficiency. Underlying this performance is thousands of years of selection and improved management practices. Initially, the selection process was farmer driven and resulted in the development of many cattle breeds, but since the mid 20th century, when coordinated efforts by farmer groups and the dairy industry focused attention on the best methods to achieve improvements in production, the gain in efficiency through genetic selection has been remarkable. Read More...

Milk Vesicles Offer New Hope for Arthritis

Milk Vesicles Offer New Hope for Arthritis

Tiny, bubble-like structures found in cow’s milk appear to slow the development of arthritis in mice. The structures, called vesicles, were originally thought to be little more than the waste products of cellular processes. But in recent years, such vesicles have been shown to contain molecules called microRNAs, which in some contexts perform important biological functions. Although not fully demonstrated, the working hypothesis of lead investigator Fons van de Loo—is that the RNA molecules in milk vesicles are absorbed in the intestines—and modulate local mucosa l activity, thereby influencing the body’s innate immune system. Read More...

Designer cows may help improve human health

Designer cows may help improve human health

Designer jeans are fashioned to suit the individual needs of each human body shape. A good pair of well-cut jeans makes all the difference--they can be tailored to make a person comfortable at an informal BBQ, or a theatre premiere. The versatility of the primary design of jeans allows a good fit for one and all, and this is the key to their perpetual success. Like jeans, the same basic design for milk is used by each mammalian species; milk is formulated differently to suit the specific needs of the young of each species. Read More...

Milk vesicles uncovered

Milk vesicles uncovered

As dairy animals go, Holstein cows are record breakers. They produce more milk than any other breed or species, enough to fill a large tank truck over the course of their lifetimes. But the details of what's in their milk isn't entirely clear. Among the mystery ingredients are those that reside within exosomes, tiny membrane-bound packages that tote around proteins from their host cell. Read More...

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