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Llama Antibodies May Lead To Coronavirus Treatment

Llamas hold great promise in the fight against the coronavirus and this has been getting more and more attention lately, especially in mainstream media.  Llamas have something most animals don't.
"This strange property of producing these small simple antibodies," said John Aitchison of Seattle Children's Research Institute. It does not make llamas sick, but does allow them to naturally produce antibodies called nanobodies, which are collected in blood samples. The next step is to isolate specific nanobodies in the lab, find ones that work to combat COVID-19 and produce them in bacteria. The idea, eventually, is to make a treatment for coronavirus patients that may be administered deep in the lungs to keep COVID-19 from spreading. "I don't think there's a biologist in the world that's not thinking about this right now," Aitchison said.

Researchers in Belgium and Texas have a head start. A llama named Winter was already producing antibodies for ot…
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Peaks in Chugach State Park

Here's a list of peaks in Chugach State Park, Alaska.  How many of these will you climb in this summer?

Peaks in Chugach State Park

Map of Peaks in Chugach State Park

Williwaw Lakes & Long Lake Loop (July Featured Hike)

The hike to Williwaw Lakes is one of the most beautiful in Alaska's Chugach State Park. This trek which is a short drive from downtown Anchorage, offers a variety of options including day hikes, overnight or multiday adventures, In the winter, it is also popular ski trail. (Hiking to the lower Williwaw lakes can also be viable in the winter depending on snow conditions.) The lakes are alpine jewels situated in a mountainous valley above Anchorage at the base of craggy Mount Williwaw (elev. 5,445 ft.). The trek to the lakes takes the hiker through alpine tundra amid a variety of alpine flowers, grassy meadows and scrub hemlock. The pristine lakes offer spectacular views of surrounding mountains with the added bonus of wildlife viewing of dall sheep, moose, coyotes, fox, and various waterfowl. There are plenty of camping opportunities around the Williwaw Lakes.

There are several ways to access the lakes. For the more gentle but longer route, take the Middle Fork Trail from the Pros…

Celebrate Llamas!

Proposed ANWR Pack Llama Ban UPDATE

*The comment period for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) proposal to eliminate the pack llama (camelid) user group as part of a proposed regulation package is now over. Thanks to everyone who took the time to make a comment objecting to the pack llama ban in ANWR! We expect a decision from USFWS sometime in July, so check back here for updates.

Another last minute development. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) came out of the shadows and submitted a comment/letter (at the last minute on June 8th) to USFWS supporting the pack llama ban in ANWR based on an unsubstantiated disease threat and false science. Here is the response by the llama industry ad hoc Public Lands Access Committee to these unsubstantiated claims by WSF. It's a must read!

View entire comment at link below:
The comments from Hurley, representing WSF ‘s position, demonstrate WSF’s irrational pursuit of a ban of llamas based on disease transmission to wild sheep. Their pu…

Camelid Hypothetical Disease Risk - Myths & Misinformation Debunked

(Excerpt from comment to USFWS by Phil Nuechterlein)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is proposing a regulatory addition to 50 CFR § 36.39 (k) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that all domestic camelids are prohibited. USFWS concerns that camelids present a disease risk to wildlife in ANWR are clearly misguided and lack scientific evidence. The USFWS proposal to ban pack llamas unfairly eliminates a user group based on the false and misleading portrayal of pack llamas as a "disease threat" to wildlife. Although we have never packed for profit, the USFWS policy implicating pack llamas as a disease threat unnecessarily harms all of us that use pack llamas, including commercial llama packing enterprises in the lower 48 states. Rumor mongering knows no regional boundaries.

The references cited by the USFWS as a basis for this proposed camelid prohibition in ANWR are not credible nor have they been peer reviewed. These same references have been evaluated …