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REU Student Project Abstract

Domonique Finch Headshot
Domonique Finch
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Angela Green-Miller and Dr. Vikram Adve
Ethogram Development for Lipopolysaccharide Study
Animal research has played a major role in many scientific and medical advances of the past century. Various diseases can be explored to give a better understanding of what caused the reaction or even how the reaction can be treated. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) can be applied as a stimulator for inflammatory response in gestating sows, inducing the symptoms of bacterial infection. A study was conducted using LPS injections to generate three different treatments: healthy pigs, pigs injected with LPS to generate inflammatory response, and pigs with subclinical respiratory infection (pneumonia—which was discovered after the study commenced). During the study, pigs were monitored for behavior using a video collection system. For analysis, One of the primary tools uses was a behavior ethogram, which is a record for behaviors including the label and descriptive definition. For example: laying sternal, laying lateral, feeding behavior, and drinking behavior. The ethogram is filled with details describing the elements and functions of each behavior, with the ethogram, evaluations of the sow will make it possible evaluate their mental and physical state. The development of the ethogram starts with watching continuous videos of sows displaying different behaviors, everything shown in the videos are documented. For behavioral labeling, the quality of the label is important. Two tools were explored for precise behavior labeling. Behavioral Observation Research (BORIS) and Animal Video Analysis Tool (AVAT). These open source tools are easy to use, software for video and audio coding and live observations. Learning about this study has helped me wonder what other studies may be useful to scientific evolution. I am grateful that I receive a chance to experience this opportunity.