Researcher and Consortium: Dr. Carl Whithaus, UC Davis and the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC)
• SPLASH! Milk Science Update is a bi-monthly e-newsletter that highlights current, impactful scientific research on milk science, nutrition, and the dairy industry that is accessible and engaging for both non-specialists and academics.
• SPLASH! introduced a new web interface for readers, which made it easier to access articles and search for topics of interest.
• The International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) funds and supports the publication of SPLASH!. CDRF is the managing sponsor of IMGC and oversees the progress of SPLASH!
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
The International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) is made up of hundreds of scientists and innovators from around the world who share the overarching goal to discover the functions and impact of lactation and milk. SPLASH! Milk Science Update is a key component of the success of the IMGC. Its platforms are designed to bring scientific discoveries to practice for human health. Every year, there are nearly 24,000 new scientific articles published and indexed in the major medical and agricultural databases related to “milk.” SPLASH! is a bi-monthly e-newsletter that helps researchers and industry experts stay up to date with the most important topics in milk science and human health. Each e-newsletter features four compelling articles that highlight cutting-edge milk science research in a way that is accessible to non-specialists while still engaging and informative for academics and industry professionals. In addition to supporting SPLASH!, the IMGC is host to several other scientific educational and networking workshops and symposium.
The annual symposium is instrumental in building a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, pre-competitive platform for scientific discoveries of the structures, functions, actions, and benefits of milk and to facilitate the application of that knowledge into practice for human health.
METHODS, FINDINGS AND OUTCOMES
SPLASH! translated important scientific findings for both a scientific and lay audience, and also provided a space to explore synergistic opportunities between human milk science, nutrition, and dairy sciences. Each edition of SPLASH! was featured on the IMGC website and other social outreach platforms. This year, SPLASH! published 24 pieces covering emerging topics in milk sciences, the dairy industry, and human nutrition. This year’s e-newsletters brought attention to research that demonstrated how drinking the daily recommended intake of milk can boost brain health in older adults, why human milk oligosaccharides vary across mothers, and the potential for fermented dairy foods to delay cognitive decline and improve markers of bone health in humans. In 2022, the IMGC introduced a new interface for readers, improving search functions and making it easier to access SPLASH! articles and the archives for topics of interest by using tags and key words. This redesign allowed SPLASH! to more effectively interface with other social media platforms, and to be able to distribute content more widely.
SPLASH! was published bi-monthly and served to inform the dairy industry, academics, and nonspecialists about emerging topics in milk science. SPLASH! continued to be a major draw for traffic to the IMGC website. The newly designed WordPress site enhanced the user experience and improvements to search engine optimization directed traffic to SPLASH! and the IMGC website. The 2022 IMGC Annual Symposium was held as a joint virtual and in-person symposium hosted at the University of California, Davis. The Most Valuable Presentation (MVP) designation was awarded to Tian Tian, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA, for the presentation: Structural Insights on Oligosaccharides in Commercial Infant Formula Products with Ion Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Additionally, five international students were awarded a Student Travel Award, which sponsored their travel and attendance to the symposium.
Read SPLASH! Milk Science Update and details about the 2023 IMGC Annual Symposium in Cork, Ireland, at milkgenomics.org