We have published a news item about a study by Canadian researchers using a Mid Infrared Spectromicroscopy beamline from a high brightness infrared synchrotron lightThis beamline takes advantage of its high brightness, millions of times greater than the sun, which provides a state-of-the-art spectrophotometer and microscope that supplies diffraction-limited spatial resolution.

It sounds like something of the sidereal space. But no, it is a reality with which these researchers − Andrew Olkowski and colleagues − try to understand why fast-growing broilers suffer from heart disease. With the help of this technology from the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, it was possible to identify misfolded and damaged protein aggregates that accumulate in the heart: an approach to a subtle problem of the heart muscle's own proteins, which is not so evident with other technologies.

Olkowski will continue to study poultry health and the main causes of diseases, which could improve the health of millions of chickens. I wonder: Is this not animal welfare? Does this mean we do not worry that birds could be better and therefore the industry could be more efficient and provide more food readily available?

When I see the level of these and other research projects not only in avian health, but in genetics, equipment, facilities, nutrition, use of alternatives additives, precision poultry production, environmental sustainability, use and production of alternative energies, and so on, I get more surprised.

At the same time, however, I am more annoyed and frightened by the simplistic and mediocre criticism from those who do not know poultry production. Everything is reduced to the “happiness of a hen.” Can anyone tell me how can they evaluate this? Have they used a beamline from an infrared synchrotron millions of times brighter than the sun to find out if a chicken is happy?

What do you think?