Saturday, May 14, 2011

Magnetic Research at MSU

Mattie: "Welcome to our weekly program, Mississippi Research Report.  Each Thursday at 5 A.M. on WCOW we report on the various research doings in verious Mississippi universities, institutions, and businesses.  Today we're spotlighting the Biophysics Department at Mississippi State University at Starkville, the scene of some new and exciting developments in poultry science.

"In our studio is Professor Largebottom, Professor of Biophysics and Chair of the Department.  Professor Largebottom, thank you for coming this morning."

Professor Largebottom: "Mattie, thank you for inviting me.  Researchers in poultry science and biophysics are always up and at 'em early to feed the birds, and it's a beautiful morning!  The early bird gets the worm, I guess you've heard."

Mattie: "Somehow, that concept sounds familiar, but I can't place it.  Professor, your project is very curious.  You receive joint funding from numerous chicken-processing plants and from a Mr. Durst, a musician of the pop variety whose group is named after a soggy bread project.  Isn't this type of funding unusual in itself?

Professor Largebottom: "Oh, not at all, Mattie.  Manna and money come from odd sources.  And it's not chicken feed."

Mattie: "Now for the research.  You've trained baby chicks wearing red ball caps to eat chicken feed with some iron filings in them.  Is this so that when they are layers their eggs will provide more iron to consumers?"

Professor Largebottom: "Well, that's one of the reasons.  But there are others"

Mattie: "But, an unusual twist to normal poultry research is transpiring in your lab.  You and your associated are exposing the chicks to large amounts of magnetic forces, magnetic forces that require special equipment to produce the largest magnetic field in the South!  This is a new development in itself.  Have you discovered some unusual properties of magnatism, such as more rapid growth or more effective healing?"

Professor Largebottom: "Well, actually, we are in the process of developing a chick magnet.  That seems to be a pressing need in our society and MSU is on the cutting edge of that research."