Breast-fed infants develop stronger immune systems, have fewer illnesses and infections, and fewer cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. That’s why 80 percent of mothers nurse their new babies.
Pediatricians recommend breast-feeding for the first six months of life but as many as half of women quit after three months, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reasons: it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, women have to go back to work and can’t take their babies with them, and sometimes milk production just drops off.
Problem solved: 108Labs, a private North Carolina startup, is bottling Colostrupedics, human breast milk cultured in tanks from human milk cells.
Chemist Shayne Guiliano, 108Labs’ founder, worked with specialists to develop “cellular agriculture” methods using cow’s milk.
Once the team had perfected the basic technology, they developed a cell-cultured human milk that was confirmed by breast milk researchers at the University of California at Davis to contain the same nutritional and antimicrobial proteins and carbohydrates, anti-inflammatory lipids, probiotics, and antibodies that women produce naturally.
Now 108Labs is building what it describes as an “autonomous” factory combining “state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, cellular agriculture, automated factory systems, modular biomanufacturing, automated bioprocessing, and sterile packaging,” all governed by proprietary software.
TRENDPOST: If successful, 108Labs’ milk could give millions of babies the full six months of breast-feeding benefits health experts call for, even if no breast is handy, improving long-term health for more people while reducing visits to doctors, health care costs, and women’s absences from work.
More broadly, Colostrupedics could evolve to offer a line of nutraceuticals, human milk supplemented with added nutrients, medicines, and other additives that could be customized to treat specific illnesses or conditions in infants.