Saturday, February 13, 2010

Milky Way Festival

"Lady Madonna, baby at your breast
Wonder how you manage to feed the rest...
Just hum along cause I forgot the rest of the words, something about "see how they run." Or is that another Beatle song? Been invited to the Festival? Go, go it will be so much fun, we will be dancing with the stars! The Milky Way Stars
What do you believe? Believe in a world of good and evil? The good guys are us. The bad guys are them.... Of course, I have to say lately that I haven't a clue of who the good and bad guys are because it is all mixed up in my head and garbled like the Beatles song, Lady Madonna. I always thought the Beatles song was about a prostitute trying to keep her children fed. Then I thought maybe it was about the Virgin Mary and was symbolic of the sacraments.
When I was researching patents on human milk, I found a government website devoted to the biology of the mammary gland. The scientific view is that the mammary gland is a manufacturing plant for various proteins that could be used in treating diseases. Yet half of planet USA, believes the mammary gland is a sexual organ whose function is pleasuring men. Ya have to love those scientists, leave it to them to put boobs under a microscope. Manufacturing plant??? Sexual Organ??? Only two choices??? How about a feeding station for the preservation of the species?? Three choices, what's a poor woman ta do??? The symbol on this government website devoted to the mammary gland was the female-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus. I had that moment, that moment of yes, I get it, I get it. This must be about the Roman Empire. The war-driven empire that conquered the world. How do you create a tough, no-nonsense society? Take your sons away from their mothers, and feed them animal milks. Actually, I believe the government mammary gland biology site is about playing with genes--genetic engineering. But interesting that they would have as a symbol, the she-wolf feeding the twins Romulus and Remus. They took alot of this down--the Beatles song, etc. But on one page of their website, you can still see the wolf and those Roman twins.
I got sidetracked on our way to the Milky Way Festival. There is an interest in the human mammary gland, not to preserve and protect breastfeeding. But to create functional foods, nutraceuticals. The interest is not just from the dairy, infant formula, food, and supplement industries but investments are being made through funding by the US government and various educational institutions. For example, lets look at "functional glycobiology." What is glycobiology? It is the study carbohydrates. There has been an enormous interest in the oligosaccharides of human milk and the role they play in prevention of disease. IBCLCs might be interested in looking at the Functional Glycobiology Program at UC Davis. "Since its inception in 2005, the group has assembled a dossier of publications, analytical, physiological, clinical, and molecular methods and protocols, patents on structure-function relationships of a number of oligosaccharide compounds, microbial genetic sequences, and structural databases related to bioactive components found in human milk, which are currently being translated to commercially viable sources of oligosaccharides from bovine milk and other sources."
Who is collaborating with UC Davis on this project/program? Prolacta, Nestle, DSM--makes AA oils for infant formula, California Dairy Research Foundation, Dairy Management, Inc. They are also collaborating with government agencies: NIH, JGI, USDA. They have a couple of patents available for licensing. So let me see how this works, women donate their milk to Prolacta who collaborates with UC Davis on this project (who is collaborating with Nestle of all companies). And they will be creating functional foods from the knowledge of human milk, in particular prebiotic compounds. Funny how we will tell mothers to go out and buy prebiotic and probiotic supplements for the breastfed babies, when all along they are getting doses of prebiotic and probiotic compounds in their own mother's milk. It's a good secret. Of course the prebiotic and probiotic the mother buys is in all liklihood genetically engineered.
Lets look at something else that is interesting. Prolacta has some scientific advisors. One of them is Lars Hansen. He happens to be a co-inventor of a US patent called, "Peptides based on the sequence of human lactoferrin and their use," patent # 7253143. (filed in 1999, human lactoferrin is a component of human milk). This patent states the use of the peptides (human lactoferrin) will be used for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections and colitis but also for conditions caused by HIV-1 and CMV. Pharmasurgics in Sweden owns this patent. Hansen has previously been funded by a European infant formula company.
So on our way to the Milky Way Festival, we see a world of mixed interests. Nothing is as it seems, and no one is singing about it. Although, quietly in the background, I hear the Beatles singing Lady Madonna and I swear there is a wolf following me.....
Copyright 2010 Valerie W. McClain

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