Using the Smithsonian Milk Repository: Compositional Changes in Lactation
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Characteristic of mammals is the presence of specialized glands that secrete milk – mammary glands. Milk acts as the primary source of nutrition for mammal neonates and additionally populates the infants’ microbiota. Through studying the nutrient composition of milk and its longitudinal changes, we can understand critical components as they relate to infant development. This allows for meaningful contributions towards improving the dietary husbandry of animals, especially in cases of hand-rearing where milk substitutes may be needed. This project was completed with contributions from Michael Power from the Smithsonian Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute.