Samuel Bogdanov, a junior at Hewlett High School, was named a semifinalist in the 2018 Junior Science and Humanity Symposium, which a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.
The competition’s mission “promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement,” according to a JSHS statement. Students compete at the regional level then are chosen for the national symposium.
Bogdanov presented his research project “Evaluating Food Samples for the Prevalence and Distribution of the Epsilon Toxin (ETX) of Clostridium perfringens; a Putative Environmental Trigger for Multiple Sclerosis at York College in Queens on Feb. 4. Judges are college faculty, practicing scientists and engineers.
The primary question was Can strains of C.perfringens with the epsilon toxin be detected in food samples, be a potential route of exposure to the how Multiple Sclerosis a chronic, immune mediated disease that affects 2.5 million people develops?
He developed different methods for culturing C.perfringens in food. Bogdanov found that depending on the method used to culture C.perfringens, stains that contain the epsilon toxin gene can be detected in food samples. Some of these food samples are from geographic areas such as Australia, where there is a high risk of MS. His data supports the hypothesis that C. perfringens type B can be an environmental trigger for early lesions in MS.
To learn more about the JSGS, go to https://www.jshs.org/about-jshs/.