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The origin and evolution of lactation

Anthony V Capuco1* and R Michael Akers2

Author Affiliations

1 USDA-ARS, Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory, Powder Mill, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

2 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Dairy Science, 2470 Litton-Reaves Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

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Journal of Biology 2009, 8:37  doi:10.1186/jbiol139

Published: 24 April 2009


The presence of mammary glands is the defining morphological feature of mammals. The recent assembly of the bovine genome and a report in Genome Biology that links the milk and lactation data of bovine and other mammalian genomes will help biologists investigate this economically and medically important feature.