Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Symposium Highlights Epigenetic Effects of Milk

Published: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
It seems the ads were right. A milk mustache is a good thing to have. Animal and dairy scientists have discovered that drinking milk at an early age can help mammals throughout their lives.

But understanding exactly how milk affects the body is a complicated story of hormones, antibodies and proteins, as well as other cells and compounds researchers have not yet identified.

Learning how milk affects offspring was the subject of the Lactation Biology Symposium, held as part of the 2012 Joint Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The presentations were summarized in a recent paper in the Journal of Animal Science.

The presentations focused on epigenetics, or how gene expression changes based on factors like environment or diet. Epigenetic changes modify when or how certain traits are expressed.

The first presenter, Dr. Frank Bartol from Auburn University, explained how certain hormones, called lactocrines, in pig’s milk affect gene expression in piglets. Bartol said lactrocrines could modify gene expression in the reproductive systems; however, Bartol said the specific effects of lactocrines are still being studied.

In the next presentation, Dr. Harald Hammon, from the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, explained how drinking milk affects future nutrition. According to Hammon, the milk produced in the first few days after birth, called colostrum, contains growth factors that help young calves better digest and absorb lactose and glucose. Hammon called for more research into identifying these factors and better describing their effects.

Studying milk is important not just for studying future fertility and nutrition, but future milk production as well. Dr. Paul Kenyon, from Massey University in New Zealand, suggested that either underfeeding or overfeeding milk could reduce milk production in the offspring. Though the differences in milk yield were small, there could still be an economic difference for dairy farmers.

The research presented at the Lactation Biology Symposium could have implications for human health as well. Dr. Katie Hinde, from Harvard University, revealed how the components of mother’s milk could alter infant behavior and cell development through epigenetic mechanisms. In Hinde’s studies of rhesus monkeys, infants who had mothers producing milk higher in milk energy and cortisol were more active, playful, exploratory and bold.

“Milk is, therefore, not merely food that allows the body to grow but it contains constituents that help build the brain and provide the energy that allows infants to be behaviorally active,” wrote K. M. Daniels et. al. in a review of the Lactation Biology Symposium.

Research into milk could help researchers better understand farm animals, the dairy industry and human health. Figuring out which compounds are found in milk and how they affect gene expression in offspring could advance knowledge in body development at all stages of life.

“At present there are far more questions than answers,” Bartol said in an interview. “However, we are making progress.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Potential of New Insect Control Traits in Agriculture
Researchers have discovered a protein that shows promise as an alternate corn rootworm control mechanism.
Gene Could Reduce Female Mosquitoes
Virginia Tech researchers have found a gene that can reduce female mosquitoes over many generations.
Improving Crop Efficiency with CRISPR
New study of CRISPR-Cas9 technology from Virginia Tech shows potential to improve crop efficiency.
Fighting Plant Pathogens with RNA
Researchers develop strategy that could lead to environmentally friendly fungicide to fight pathogens.
Breakthrough in Plant Salt-Tolerance Research
Researchers have made a breakthrough in plant salt tolerance that could lead to new salt tollerant crop types.
Microbes Help Plants Survive In Severe Drought
Researchers discover plants survive better under drought conditions with help from natural microbes.
Mosquito Genetics Determine Tastes
Study reveals mosuito's preference for human versus animal biting is determined by genetics.
Mouse Genes Guiding Precision Medicine
Research of the mouse genome has identified hundreds of essential-to-life genes from the 1751 genes studied.
Environmental Impact of GM Crops
Following the adoption of GM crops, insecticide usage decreases but herbicide use increases, study shows.
Genes Essential to Life Discovered
Genes critical for life are discovered in humans and mice as part of large-scale phenotyping study.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!