Breast milk from the fermenter

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    On a summer time day in 2013, Leila Strickland sat spellbound in entrance of her laptop computer in North Carolina and watched Mark Publish introduce the primary hamburger grown within the laboratory. To create the pink, flat meatball, the vascular physiology professor took hundreds of tissue tradition plates filled with bovine stem cells, blended them with fetal calf serum and different vitamins, and waited for them to distinguish into muscle cells. Strickland is excitedly following the experiment at Maastricht College within the Netherlands. She had a PhD in cell biology and spent a number of years as a researcher at Stanford earlier than beginning to work as a medical editor. Publish’s experiments woke up the cell researcher in her. Nevertheless, she was not so keen on pretend mince steaks, however within the first meals that people eat: breast milk.

    Strickland is a younger mom and like many others she had hoped to have the ability to breastfeed her kids for the primary six months after the delivery. Pure breast milk is taken into account to be the most effective toddler vitamin in medication. It reduces digestive issues, pores and skin rashes and, most significantly, the chance of necrotizing enterocolitis, a uncommon however doubtlessly deadly bowel illness in untimely infants. Nevertheless, having the ability to breastfeed one’s personal kids has lengthy since ceased to be a given. Strickland was having hassle too. Her first youngster, a son, could not suckle her nipple correctly; when he did, she felt a stinging ache. She spent complete days breastfeeding or expressing to stimulate her milk move, and but her son cried as a result of he was hungry. He started to shed pounds and to feed him all she needed to do was feed him breast milk substitute. She now had related issues along with her little daughter.

    As Strickland watched Mark Publish’s experiments from her kitchen desk, she started to consider how she might develop cells that produce breast milk. “A pregnant girl might have a needle biopsy of her breast and I might develop the cells and produce milk earlier than the infant is born,” Strickland wrote in an electronic mail to a pal.

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