Amber J. Brace

Amber J. Brace

Tampa, Florida, USA

More

Haven't created any projects yet! 

Haven't backed any projects yet! 

I thought I had... oh boy, it must be almost Friday. Thank you!! It's now included.
Aug 14, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment
Thank you so much, Rebecca!!
Aug 14, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment
That's a great question! And I will try to not give a long-winded answer. This project will (hopefully) do something that we haven't really been able to do before, which is quantify return on immune investment. Meaning that at the start of an infection, we will be able to measure how individuals are utilizing important resources like amino acids and glucose (for example, if they are breaking down glucose immediately to fight the infection, or if they are storing it for later use). Then we will be able to see how effective their immediate response to infection was by counting how many malaria parasites they have 7 days later. In this way, we can actually look see if a more expensive response at the outset of infection translates into a better response against parasites. The reason why this is important is because we know that a lot of variation in costs of immune function exists, but without knowing how costs of immune function translate into effectiveness of immune function, we can't fully understand the variation that we see. I hope this answers your question!
Aug 14, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment
Thank you SO much. Every little bit helps! It means a lot!
Aug 11, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment
It's certainly a good way to break up the day!
Jul 31, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment
Hi Oscar, These are awesome questions! There is actually some ongoing debate about the "cost" of activating the immune system, which is why research like this is so important. We're not entirely sure which species pay a higher cost of activating their immune system. There are a lot of studies that show that costs of activating your immune system depend on all sorts of things, including what type of infection you have (e.g., a virus, bacteria, exoparasite, etc.) and what species you are. Some of my other ongoing research is trying to answer the question of which species pay a higher overall cost of immune activation by analyzing data from previous studies on around 58 different species, so hopefully when coupled with this study, we should have some more straightforward answers soon. As for baseline level of immune activity, that also varies an incredible amount from individual to individual based on previous exposures to disease or parasites, availability of resources, and what time of year it is (some species have less effective immune systems while breeding). Thanks for your interest and hopefully I answered your questions!
Jul 25, 2014
Immune responses to reptile malaria: is more really better?
View comment