In 2003 the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) for Growth and Development was formed. The purpose is to conduct research into growth and development, focussing particularly on the issues of pre- and post-natal growth and its implications for human health.
The medical challenges for the developed world are those associated with the nutritional environment, obesity and the associated illnesses of diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. There is evidence linking the propensity for these diseases to the nutritional status of the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy and the interaction of this status with nutrition in the immediate post-natal period. In this respect the problem differs from the issues considered by animal production. Here the last trimester of pregnancy has received the most attention, and few domestic animals live long enough for cardio-vascular problems to arise. Nevertheless the skills and methods of investigation developed by animal scientists can be applied to these new problems.
Animal production research and medical science have much to offer each other, but with a few notable exceptions this potential has not been realised. A cursory look at the references listed by the authors in this contract shows little evidence of contact. One of the goals of the CoRE is to promote this interaction. This contract session with the New Zealand Society of Animal Production has two goals. First, to make animal scientists aware of the questions facing medical scientists with respect to early growth and development, the focus of the CoRE effort. Second, to encourage individuals to make contact and build future networks with the aim of developing joint projects.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 64, Hamilton, 17, 2004
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