- Environment --- A
report based on 40 years of data analysed shows that birds are validated sentinel species sending an important
and troubling message about the state of the environment and impact of climate change. The U.S. State of the
Birds report also offers heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can
reverse declines of birds.
- Medical Science --- The outbreaks of avian flu have accelerated scientists' interest in
learning more about the chicken genome and how genetic variation may play a role in the susceptibility of different
strains to the disease. After mice, the chicken is the most used biomedical research model for understanding
developmental disease, it is also the most cited non-mammalian vertebrate model organism in all biomedical research,
and is an invaluable model for cancer biology, immunology, eye development, embryology development, aging, head and
cranio-facial defects, limb development, abnormalities such as spina bifida, and connection between
viruses and some types of cancer.
- Agriculture --- Birds/chickens have tremendous economic value as a
source of eggs and meat, bringing in more than $2.5 billion in revenue, chickens are by far the biggest single agricultural crop for
Mississippi as well, more than twice as big as the next biggest, which is forestry.
- Basic Life Science Research --- The chicken/bird also is well positioned from
an evolutionary standpoint to provide an intermediate perspective between mammals, such as humans, and lower vertebrates,
such as fish. By comparing the human genome sequence with those of other organisms, researchers can identify regions of similarity and
difference. This information can help scientists better understand the structure and function of genes
and thereby develop new strategies to combat human disease.