Jesse Shepherd wins Best of Show at Nebo District Science Fair

Submitted by bonnie.beckstead on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 14:22

Jesse Shepherd received the Best of Show at the Nebo District Science Fair. He is taking his project forward to the BYU science/engineering fair to compete with the best science projects from the state. He is taking science to an applicable level. He is going to be published with a science journal and the veterinarian society for his work, and has already won many awards and scholarships for his future. A synopsis of Jesse's project is described here: In the research project “A Comparative Analysis of Various Means of Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay Tests for Avian Paramyxovirus-Newcastle Disease Virus,” Jesse desired to answer the question of, “Is there another way to test poultry for the Newcastle Disease Virus besides venipuncture and drawing blood?” Venipuncture is an invasive method for testing which dissatisfies animal rights activists. In addition, it is a very difficult practice, one that requires extensive certification. Many farmers are unable to draw blood from their poultry, requiring that a poultry farmer draw the blood instead. NDV causes death of 100% of the poultry flock in three days, therefore it is crucial for a farmer to know quickly if his flock is infected. Jesse decided he wanted to test the egg yolks from the birds, a practice never before attempted, because of the high amount of maternal antibodies. He redesigned the current testing methods for blood to be able to test the egg yolks and conducted the test. With over 360 data points to back him up, Jesse was able to successfully design a test for the egg yolks where the data points from both the blood and egg yolks were nearly identical. He was able to conclude that egg yolks can be used to test for several infectious diseases in poultry, making it more cost efficient, less labor intensive, and more easily accessible to every farmer. The research will soon be published by a science journal in association with two world renowned veterinarians.  

Brad Warren