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There is truly no end to the variety of creatures that inhabit our world. Some are so strange they defy logic. One, however, the pangolin–an endangerd, armored mammal native to various parts of Asia–may hold the key to ending our battle with coronavirus.

Apparently there is new research that is stating COVID-19, may be a recombination of bat and pangolin coronaviruses.

Thus, the creature may be able to tell us how the virus was transmitted, but may even hold a clue to eliminating it altogether.

via Hindustan Times

pangolin coronavirus

Pangolin

A new study has suggested that the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, might have originated from a recombination of coronaviruses in a bat and pangolin. The findings strengthen the theory that pangolins could be the intermediate host for transmission of Sars-CoV-2 to humans.

The paper, published in the journal Nature by researchers from College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, also flags that pangolins, being the most trafficked mammal in the world, could be a future threat to public health if wildlife trade is not controlled because they harbour Sars-CoV-2-like viruses.

A coronavirus isolated from Malayan pangolins by a team of Chinese scientists showed 100%, 98.6%, 97.8% and 90.7% amino acid identity with Sars-CoV-2 in 4 genes.

The Malayan pangolin coronavirus was found to be particularly identical to Sars-CoV-2 in its receptor binding domain of the spike protein (which SARS-CoV-2 uses to bind to its host’s cells).

Genome sequencing found that the pangolin-CoV was very similar to both SARS-CoV-2 and Bat Sars-CoV RaTG13 (from which SARS-CoV-2 is suspected to have originated) but the only difference was the spike or S gene.

Further analysis of S gene sequences has suggested recombination events on May 8.

For this study, the team used lung tissues from four Chinese pangolins and 25 Malayan pangolins in a wildlife rescue center during March-August 2019. RNA from 17 of the 25 Malayan pangolins were found to be positive for Sars-CoV-2 like viruses and they gradually showed signs of respiratory disease, including shortness of breath, emaciation, inactivity, and crying.

Out of 17, 14 pangolins later died.

Generally, a natural reservoir host does not show severe disease, while an intermediate host may have clinical signs of infection, the authors said.

Pangolins and bats are both nocturnal animals, eat insects, and share overlapping ecological niches which make pangolins the ideal intermediate host for some Sars-related coronaviruses.

The paper recommended more systematic and long-term monitoring of coronaviruses in pangolins and a complete ban on illegal pangolin trade, international cooperation and strict regulation against consumption of game meat and wildlife trade.

“Of particular interest here is that the entire genome of the pangolin coronavirus is not similar to the Sars-CoV-2 but they’re almost identical in the receptor-binding area (which the virus uses to bind to its host’s cells). Interestingly, the genome of Sars-CoV-2 is 96% similar to the bat coronavirus RaTG13 (found in the intermediate horseshoe bat) but differs in the receptor-binding site (which means that the RaTG13 cannot directly infect human lungs because its receptor cannot bind to human lung cells). Put these two pieces of information together and you arrive at the hypothesis that has the most amount of support so far,” said Rohit Chakravarty, wildlife biologist and PhD student at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany who read the paper.

“Which is, a bat coronavirus jumped from a bat to a Malayan pangolin (either in the wild or in captivity), the virus recombined in the pangolin and incorporated the pangolin coronavirus’s receptor-binding region, and then it evolved into Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 in humans,” he added.

Pangolins are trafficked because it is believed that their scales and blood have medicinal properties, and their flesh is considered a delicacy in some parts of southeast Asia.

“As many reports have shown, pangolins are now the most trafficked wild animal species in the world. As with all wildlife trade, the answer to how it can be controlled is quite complicated, because the flow chain goes through several layers of society. Ultimately, we are all culpable because the scale of operations is directly correlated to wealth in consumer countries. It is very easy to say that the eating habits of the Chinese are responsible for all the current problems we face. However, it is much harder for us to acknowledge, that actually the consumerist lifestyles of all developed and developing economies is actually the engine that’s driving this thriving trade,” said Abi Tamim Vanak, Fellow, Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Program and senior fellow at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.

As aforementioned pangolins are consumed in various parts of Asia, but so are bats. We hope whatever research is being done concerning these animals’ ties to COVID-19 can assist in eliminating it from the world. On a less serious note, pangolins look a lot like the Pokemon, Sandshrew and Sandslash!

Current Events

#History! First Trans Housing Complex, Purchased By Trans Community, Opens in Queens, NYC!

History has been made in the borough of Queens, New York; with the first ever housing complex for transgender people, purchased by the transgender community, is now open!

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trans housing complex queens new york city

History has been made in the borough of Queens, New York; with the first ever housing complex for transgender people, purchased by the transgender community, is now open!

via Pix11.com

trans housing complex queens new york city

A multi-unit housing complex in Woodhaven opened its doors Friday with historic relevance.

It’s the first residential building purchased by the trans community specifically for the trans community.

Ceyenne Doroshow, a community advocate and the founder of the non profit organization Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (GLITS), purchased the property.

It’s all part of the organization’s mission to invest in real estate that provides sustainable housing to transgender individuals that have historically faced housing discrimination.

“When I am dead and gone, I want you to know that it was a Black trans woman that bought this building for you, for community,” she told a crowd of supporters who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. “This was created from love and out of love and it will continue to be that.”

Twelve units in the three story walk up are now designated a safe space for those in need. The units come fully furnished and will be occupied by tenants who complete a thorough application process. The housing complex in Woodhaven opens in a year that has become a tragic one for the community.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 34 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in violent attacks nationwide in 2020.

“Black trans lives matter and it just cannot be a slogan, we have to be there and support,” Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President-elect said at the event.

The opening of this trans housing complex is amazing a sign of our times. 2020 is the deadliest year on record for the murder of trans people, most being Black transgender women. This complex will serve as safe space and gathering spot for the trans community. Honestly, more housing complexes like this are needed globally.

Remember guys, #TransLivesMatter too, and always!

 

 

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Current Events

“They Give Me Purpose…” 29 Yr Old Foster, Adopts 5 Siblings!

The antics of 2020 and the still pending Presidential Election may be the top headlines, but one young man has changed the lives of five siblings.

Robert Carter, 29, wanted to ensure five siblings in foster care stayed together so he adopted them!

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29 year old adopts five siblings

The antics of 2020 and the still pending Presidential Election may be the top headlines, but one young man has changed the lives of five siblings.

Robert Carter, 29, wanted to ensure five siblings in foster care stayed together so he adopted them!

via People

29 year old adopts five siblings

An Ohio man, who was separated from his siblings in foster care years ago, didn’t want a group of brothers and sisters to experience the same thing — so he reunited the five children and then adopted all of them.

Robert Carter tells PEOPLE he was just 12 years old when he was placed in a foster home and separated from his eight siblings.

Realizing the emotional trauma that it caused him, Carter, now 29, refused to let that happen again and insisted on reuniting the three boys he became a foster parent to in Dec. 2018 with their two sisters.

After successfully bringing the quintette together, Carter recently took things a step further by adopting all five children as his own, ensuring that the siblings will have a chance to grow old together and forever be by each other’s sides.

“I can’t even begin to try to put it into words what it means,” Carter tells PEOPLE. “Just the fact that they’re together, the fact that they have something that will help them remember their past… it’s beautiful to watch them grow up together and make memories together.”

29 year old adopts five siblings

We have to say we are really proud of Robert and what he is doing by adopting these children and becoming their father. He really stepped up and we wholeheartedly believe their lives will be better because they are together and someone who truly cares for them will be raising them.

Seeing how Robert grew up in foster care and wanted to prevent these children similar trauma and pain only shows how impeccable he is. We will keep him and his children in our prayers. Also, thank goodness for those adoption assistance funds because he is going to need it! Congrats Robert!

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Current Events

Two Ugandan Officials Face Arrest for Charges on Torturing Homeless LGBT Youth

Hate and homophobia have no borders, especially in the African country of Uganda, in constant violation of the human rights of LGBT people. Now, two Ugandan officials face arrest and charges for torturing homeless LGBT youth.

The two officials, who have repeatedly ignored court summons, have now been issued arrest warrants for over 76 acts of torture.

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ugandan officials charged with torturing lgbt youth

Hate and homophobia have no borders, especially in the African country of Uganda, in constant violation of the human rights of LGBT people. Now, two Ugandan officials face arrest and charges for torturing homeless LGBT youth.

The two officials, who have repeatedly ignored court summons, have now been issued arrest warrants for over 76 acts of torture.

via The G-Listed

ugandan officials charged with torturing lgbt youth

The arrest warrants came in the case of 20 LGBT Ugandans who spent 50 days on remand in a Ugandan prison on charges of violating Covid-19 orders by living in a homeless shelter run by the Children of the Sun Foundation (COSF). After their release, they accused Ugandan officials of mistreating them during the March 29 raid on the COSF shelter and during their incarceration.

The warrants were issued against Haji Abdul Kiyimba, the LCIII chairperson of Kyengera Town Council,  and Philemon Woniala, the deputy officer in charge of Kitalya Mini-Maxi Prison, for repeatedly failing to appear in court to answer charges of torturing LGBT youths.

The warrants were approved 14th October during a court session presided over by the Chief Magistrate of the central District of Wakiso, which is just outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Kiyimba and Woniala had been summoned to attend court on 26th August and again on 14th October, according to a statement issued by Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF). They face charges of violating Sections 2 and 4 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.

“The two accused persons, however, chose to ignore the Court Summons and never appeared personally in Court to answer to the charges, which conduct amounts to contempt of Court,” stated Patricia Kimera, HRAPF’s Programmes Director for Access to Justice.

We are praying that justice is served for these heinous acts and are asking the global community to do their parts to ensure their conviction. #AllBlackLivesMatter EVERYWHERE!

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