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When The Well Runs Dry: The Water Scarcity Issue & How We Can All Help

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“We cannot command nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon

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With the fracking boom that has swept many parts of the world using vast quantities of water, it is worth considering the importance water plays within both society and the agricultural system. 97% of the water on the Earth is salt water and only 3% is fresh water; with slightly over two thirds of this being frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is found mainly as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air.

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Groundwater Is Decreasing

Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world’s supply of groundwater is steadily decreasing. With depletion occurring most prominently in Asia and North America, it is still unclear how much natural renewal balances this usage, and whether or not ecosystems are threatened. (1)(2)(3)

Scores of countries are over pumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs. Most aquifers are replenishable but some are not. For example, when aquifers in India and the shallow aquifer under the North China Plain are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping will be automatically reduced to the rate of recharge. But for fossil aquifers, like the Saudi aquifer, the vast Ogallala aquifer under the U.S. Great Plains, or the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, depletion brings pumping to an end.

Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dry land farming if rainfall permits. But in more arid regions, such as in the southwestern United States and parts of the Middle East, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.

Falling water tables are already adversely affecting harvests in some larger countries, including China, which rivals the United States as the world’s largest grain producer. A groundwater survey released in Beijing in August 2001 revealed that the water table under the North China Plain, an area that produces over half of the country’s wheat and a third of its corn, was falling fast. Over pumping has largely depleted the shallow aquifer, forcing well drillers to  turn to the region’s deep aquifer, which is not replenishable.

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Shortages Around The World

As serious as water shortages are in China, they are even more serious in India, where the margin between food consumption and survival is so precarious. To date, India’s 100 million farmers have drilled more than 21 million wells, investing some $12 billion in wells and pumps. In August 2004 Fred Pearce reported in New Scientist that “half of India’s traditional hand dug wells and millions of shallower tube wells have already dried up, bringing a spate of suicides among those who rely on them. Electricity blackouts are reaching epidemic proportions in states where half of the electricity is used to pump water from depths of up to a kilometer.” As water tables fall, well drillers are using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water, going down a half mile or more in some locations. In communities where underground water sources have dried up entirely, all agriculture is now rain-fed and drinking water must be trucked in. Tushaar Shah, who heads the International Water Management Institute’s groundwater station in Gujarat, says of India’s water situation, “When the balloon bursts, untold anarchy will be the lot of rural India.”(4)

Large scale agriculture and the irrigation of land, crops and the grazing of livestock is by far the biggest user of water. In developed countries such as North America and Europe, the average per capita domestic usage of water ranges from around 350 to 550 litres per day. In less developed countries per capita usage ranges from around 10 to 75 litres per day, significantly less than its richer counterparts. Not only are we ‘consuming’ large quantities of water on a daily basis, we also consume vast quantities of water in the associated foods we eat and products we use. We can clearly see different types of food require different amounts of water to produce. It is vital that we understand the processes that go towards producing foods and the externalities that exist in doing so.

Embedded Water in Foods and Clothing

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Waterwise an independent not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation promoting water efficiency and conservation based in London, has calculated the amount of water embedded in a number of everyday beverages and foods we take for granted in the West. Embedded water is the amount of water used in the process of producing and distribution of any agricultural products. Here are some of the more common products you might encounter each day. A pint of beer (575ml) – water embedded 170 Litres, Cup of coffeewater embedded 140 litres, glass of orange juice (200ml)  – water embedded 170 litres, glass of milk (200ml) – 200 litres embedded, slice of bread 30grams – 130 litres embedded, hamburger (150grams) – 2400 litres embedded, cotton tee shirt – 500grams – 4100 litres embedded, packet of potato chips (200grams) – 185 litres embedded.

Making A Shift In The Way We Live

Moving forward it is obvious that livestock as well as cotton are clearly not efficient uses of water. Researchers, scientists and environmentalists have been advocating that if humanity is to survive in its current form, with significant populations, we must see a shift towards a vegetarian diet. It is not difficult to understand how a vegetarian diet makes sense when we look at the inputs that go towards producing various foods. At the very least we should be factoring in the opportunity cost and externalities involved in the food we produce in an effort to conserve water. While domestic water consumption is only 8%, the amount of water used to produce various foods should be taken into account and factored into any water based calculations for richer nations. The embedding of water in the foods we eat significantly increases the average household usage of water.

Apart from making conscious decisions about how we live, the way we grow food, what we eat, wear and consume, water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to protect our waterways and reduce demand for this valuable natural resource. Using less water reduces stress on the environment, infrastructure and uses significantly less energy. Our diligence and awareness is crucial in conserving water and making a difference. By initiating personal change we can reduce our impact on the environment and conserve this vital natural resource. There are a multitude of water saving devices that can positively impact the way water is used. The most effective way to save water is by eliminating unnecessary practices. Here are a few practical ideas to get started.

Natural Landscaping

“The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.”  – David Suzuki

Each plant has naturally adapted to a particular landscape and specific climatic conditions. Planting species not suited to an environment results in significantly increased water usage. Native plants, that is, those plants that occur naturally in an environment, are low maintenance and far more resilient than plant species that have been introduced. Native plants are able to thrive in specific climatic conditions, have the ability to resist pests and use minimal water when compared to introduced non-native species. Native plants require minimal or no additional watering apart from what nature offers. They are programmed to deal with the naturally occurring rainfall. The average ½ inch garden hose pumps about 9 gallons, or 34 litres per minute. So you can do the math as to how much water you will save by reducing the time spent watering plants that don’t actually need much water.

When you need to water plants here are a few tips that will make a difference in reducing your water consumption. To reduce evaporation rates, make sure you water plants when it is cooler, usually in the morning or late afternoon. Learn as much about plants and their water requirements as possible, so that you don’t unnecessarily over water them. Many plants and trees have deep roots that enable the plant to sustain themselves for several weeks without being watered. Another great way to reduce evaporation rates is to place a layer of mulch around trees, plants and vegetable gardens as this significantly reduces watering and evaporation rates.

Watering Lawns!

“When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

Much of suburbia takes great pride in growing and cultivating the perfect lawn. It is interesting to note that the lawn originated from Europe around the 1600’s. The cool mild, climate of Europe was conducive to grasses and various ground covers. The earliest lawns and grasses had practical applications and were used in and around medieval castles in Britain and France. The low ground cover provided guards and watchmen an unobstructed view of any approaching danger. The practical application of being able to ward off hostile enemies does not practically translate into the current western culture.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reports that landscaping and the maintenance of lawn, account for approximately 30% of all water use in the United States. Considering that lawns serve no practical purpose and are purely aesthetic in nature, it seems extravagant that such a precious resource is wasted on a hangover from the 16th century. With the increasing cost of transport and rising food prices it seems like a perfect time to reduce our lawns and start investing and or propagating native plants, fruit and nut trees, vegetables and other edible plants. Trees have much deeper root systems so don’t need as much watering, plus have the advantage of providing nutrient dense foods. If you do need to have lawn then here are some handy tips for minimising the use of water.

  • Water your lawn only when needed, most lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days.
  • Let the lawn grow. Having longer grass gives the lawn a chance to seed and protects the roots from drying out. A healthy lawn should be at least two to three inches in length.
  • Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips. Don’t water your lawn on windy days as most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  • To determine whether your lawn needs watering or not use this simple method as a test. Walk on the grass. If the lawn springs back up when you move, then it doesn’t need watering. If it flattens out and doesn’t rebound then the lawn needs some water.
  • Grasses, lawn and other organic materials are great for building soil composition and provide nutrients and fertiliser for gardens.

Some Practical Tips for Conserving Water Around the Home

There are hundreds if not thousands of different ways to save water, from efficient capture of rainwater in tanks, water saving devices, drip irrigation, through to simply being conscious about water usage. Here are a few basic tips to help save water around the home which may stimulate some ideas and help further your research on the subject.

Check for leaky faucets around home.    Use half flush system on toilets.    Take shorter showers.     Add less water to the bathtub.    If you have a pool put a cover on it when not in use.   Turn off water when brushing your teeth.     Water plants in the morning or evening.     Install a water tank.    Use a broom as opposed to a hose for cleaning outside surfaces.   Wash your car with a bucket.   Install faucet aerators.   Don’t defrost food using running water.  Wash up the old fashioned way by hand.   If using a dishwasher only use when it is completely fullInstall low flow shower heads.   Only wash clothes when the washing machine is full.   Reduce the amount of lawn in your backyard  Plant native plant species.    Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants. Grow your own food.   Eat less Meat.   Only purchase sustainably locally sourced products……

Remember every time you use water to be aware of how precious and scarce it actually is. In some countries people get by with as little as ten litres a day! So think about how you use water and the impacts of what you eat do and consumer have on this precious resource.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

CoverONENOVSources

Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

(1) Earth’s water distribution”. United States Geological Survey.

(2) Scientific Facts on Water: State of the Resource”. GreenFacts Website.

(3) Gleeson, Tom; Wada, Yoshihide; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H. (9 August 2012). “Water balance of global aquifers revealed by groundwater footprint”. Nature (488): 197–200.

(4) http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/book_files/pb4book.pdf

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Environmental

3 Million Masks a Minute: The Next Plastic Problem?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies estimate worldwide humans are using 129 billion face masks each month. Most masks are disposable, made from plastic microfibers that are not biodegradable and may fragment into smaller plastic particles polluting ecosystems.

  • Reflect On:

    What's the solution to the words plastic pollution problems? Why do we even use it when there are so many other biodegradable substances we can use? Why has plastic not been banned worldwide?

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The high demand for face masks since the coronavirus pandemic began has resulted in the production of billions of disposable masks — with no way to properly dispose of them.

Masks are littering cities, clogging sewage channels and turning up in bodies of water, prompting researchers to warn of the potential for masks to become the next “plastic problem.”

Recent studies estimate that worldwide, humans are using 129 billion face masks each month — about 3 million a minute. Most of them are disposable face masks made from plastic, non-biodegradable microfibers that break down into smaller plastic particles — micro- and nanoplastics — that become widespread in ecosystems.

The World Health Organization says an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID response each month, a trend likely to persist for some time.

At the start of the outbreak, U.S. officials estimated the country would need 300 million face masks to cope with the pandemic in 2020. U.S. manufacturer 3M made 550 million masks in 2019 and plans to produce 2 billion this year as long as the pandemic lasts.

“The enormous production of disposable masks is on a similar scale as plastic bottles, which is estimated to be 43 billion per month,”said environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark, and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. “But unlike plastic bottles, there is no way to recycle face masks, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways.”

Common surgical masks have three layers: an outer layer with non-absorbent fibrous material (like polyester) that protects against liquid splashes, a middle layer with non-woven fabrics (like polypropylene and polystyrene) created using a meltblown process which prevents droplets and aerosols via an electrostatic effect, and an inner layer made of absorbent material like cotton to absorb vapor.

Masks contain many polymers, including fabric polypropylene. Polypropylene is one of the most commonly produced plastics and does not easily break down. Weathering from solar radiation and heat cause polypropylene to generate a large number of micro-sized polypropylene particles and nanoplastics.

Disposable face masks are made directly from microsized plastic fibers, which release plastic particles easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. A newer generation of masks, called nanomasks, releases even smaller particles creating a new source of nanoplastic pollution, according to the University of Southern Denmark.

Like other plastic debris, “disposable masks may accumulate and release harmful chemical and biological substances, such as bisphenol Aheavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms,” according to Xu and Ren. Some of the toxic chemicals released during degradation of plastic polymers include phthalatesorganotinnonylphenolpolybrominated biphenyl ether and triclosan.

The impacts of plastic as a solid waste and microplastics contamination in the environment have been investigated, validated and demonstrated by different researchers in various publications, according to a study in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Face masks get into the environment when disposed in landfills and dumpsites or littered in public spaces. They then make their way into lakes, rivers and oceans, breaking down into plastic particles within a few weeks.

In the years prior to the pandemic, environmentalists warned about skyrocketing plastic pollution and its threat to oceans and marine life. As much as 13 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, according to a 2018 estimate by UN Environment.

According to a report by OceanAsia, roughly 52 billion face masks were manufactured in 2020 to meet the demand of the coronavirus pandemic and 1.56 billion were estimated to have entered the ocean, resulting in 4,680 to 6,240 metric tonnes of face masks. These masks take as long as 450 years to completely break down –– slowly turning into microplastics that negatively affect marine wildlife and ecosystems.

The environmental research community needs to move faster to understand and mitigate these risks, said researchers Xu and Ren. They proposed the following for dealing with the problem:

  • Set up mask-only trash cans for collection and disposal. Do not put masks in the recycling.
  • Consider standardization, guidelines and strict implementation of waste management for mask wastes.
  • Replace disposable masks with reusable face masks like cotton masks.
  • Develop biodegradable disposal masks with materials that are safe.

Article written by Megan Redshaw, a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.

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Environmental

Zimbabwe Man Invents An Electric System That Charges Itself

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso has invented an electric system that runs off a battery. The unique thing is the battery charges itself with electromagnetic radiation that's present naturally in the environment. It can run forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do these technologies never see the light of day? Why are they usually ridiculed and brushed off as fake? What would the implications be if this technology was released to the world?

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A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.

According to Maxwell’s claims, the energy to power the battery is taken from electromagnetic waves that exist all around us and are naturally present in our environment. The vehicle had 5 normal gel batteries which were sufficient enough to start the vehicle and charge the batteries, and from there on in, the batteries are constantly charging.

His story and developments began to make noise. For example, SABC News, a major news station owned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation picked up the story and relayed it to their viewers.

According to the Zambian Observer,

“The United States government has given Zimbabwe’s prolific inventor Maxwell Chikumbutso a new home in its populous state of California. Chikumbutso is the founder of Saith Holdings Inc. under which he made headlines for his serial innovations which include the world’s first ever green power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies, an electric powered car which doesn’t consume fuel, a fuelled helicopter and many more.”

When this story broke, a number of “fact-checkers” simply labelled it as false without any investigation. When I first saw this I thought to myself, why would multiple media outlets cover the story, film it and present it to the entire country if it was fake? And why did fact checkers simply label the story as false from the armchairs of their offices without providing any evidence showing that it was?

Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.

The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire the change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…

The full story and more is covered in their new film, Thrive II: This Is What It Takes.  You can see a brief clip from THRIVE II below and Foster and Kimberly’s interaction with Maxwell.

In the film, Chikumbutso explains:

One of the painful realities I have seen in energy is this is a very dangerous game all together. Yeah, especially free energy, because you know they can try to kill it – using professional people and that has happened to me…I went through a lot, poisons, like I’m saying right now, I’m fighting it. They come to you then they say, No, you mustn’t do this.” When they see you’re not giving up, then they can just frame you, then they can so no, you’ve done ABC.” My prayer is this thing must see the light of day.

As far as those “fact checkers” go. As I mentioned above they simply labelled this development as false. For example, PolitiFact explained that “Three years ago, a man at a one-day event touted “inventions,” including a car that defies the laws of physics. Since 2015, his story has only found a home on false news blogs and conspiracy sites.”

Snopes did the same, also mentioning our article that was publishing covering the story:

On 25 April 2018, the conspiracy oriented, reality-adjacent website Collective Evolution picked up the story once again, this time citing the aforementioned Zambian Observer story and the 2015 video of that same event from South African television. As is often the case with Collective Evolution articles, the claims made there have been cloned and regurgitated ad infinitum by other dubious clickbait sites.

Again, there is absolutely no evidence or investigation by these fact checkers to vet the technology, and the common theme used to try and debunk Chikumbutso is that his invention breaks the laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics to be exact, because it produces more energy than is put into the device. They also use ridicule to support their narrative.

We here at Collective Evolution would argue that the device does not at all break the laws of physics, and that the law is not well understood, or needs to be revised. Furthermore, if there’s one thing constant about physics it’s change.

Take, for example, prominent physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in the year 1900 that, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” 

It wasn’t long after this statement when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. Einstein’s theories challenged the accepted framework of knowledge at the time, and forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of reality.

It serves as a great example of how concepts that are taken to be absolute truth are susceptible to change. It’s also important to mention that if these fact-checkers actually did some investigation into this case, they would have a different opinion. How come fact checkers have the ability to label something as false without any actual investigation?

That’s why people like Foster and Kimberly are so important.

In fact, there are multiple inventions out there that appear to break the second law of thermodynamics which have received absolutely no attention. For example, renowned inventor and engineer Paramahamsa Tewari developed an electrical generator that put out more power than it takes in, achieving over-unity efficiency. He published a paper in Physics Essays titled “Structural relation between the vacuum space and the electron” in 2018 before he passed. The paper explains the concepts behind the make-up of what we perceive to be our physical material world, the concepts in there explain the the thoughts behind his generator. You can view a video of the generator here, and read more about it in an article I dive deeper about it, here.

Concluding Remarks: The fact that these technologies, and similar technologies that can provide “free energy” to the planet exist is very exciting. We here at Collective Evolution have also had the privilege of seeing some of these technologies with our own eyes, and it’s quite unfortunate that they always come under such a harsh resistance. What does that tell you about our world and the underlying stories that navigate our current thinking? The fact is, new energy technologies like the one mentioned in this article have the ability to completely collapse the biggest energy companies in the world. Just because this is true, does not mean we should not approach the conversation and determine how we can implement them and perhaps create further adjustments in our society along the way.

I started to examine the breakthrough solutions, and much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world, and yet they have not really seen the light of day. If the new energy technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change be profound, it would affect everybody, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that’s happened in the history of the world.  – Dr Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor

Professor Emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire. He outlined the importance of these concepts in his paper titled Space and Terrestrial Transportation and Energy Technologies For The 21st Century.

There is significant evidence that scientists since Tesla have known about this energy, but that its existence and potential use has been discouraged and indeed suppressed over the past half century or more.  – Dr. Theodor C. Loder, III (source)

Imagine a planet where we live in transparency and all developments are made public. Why does something that threatens power have to be kept a secret? Why is the excuse always to protect “national security.” Why is our planet like this, and why are we accepting and choosing to live the way we do when we have the potential to do so much better?

Of course, energy is a huge part of our existing economy, and thus it’s easy to see how disrupting energy is disrupting the entire economy. We would lose jobs, industries etc. Our progress as a species is held back by our love affair with our current ways of thinking and economy, even when it creates a world that is slowly destroying itself. So what’s the solution then? Transparent discussion ad a new conversation. We must begin realizing what it is that truly holds back these technologies, and it isn’t as simple as saying ‘the elite’ or ‘the deep state.’ It’s our ways of thinking and being, our collective story.

We talk about this in great detail in an interview with someone who has been working in the ‘new energy’ space for many years. Dive into this important conversation on CETV here.

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Half a Million Sharks Could Be Killed to Make COVID-19 Vaccine

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Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline may need to slaughter half a million sharks to harvest squalene, an oil made in shark livers, to make a new line of COVID jabs. Glaxo mixes squalene with a witches’ brew of proprietary surfactants to produce its controversial AS03 vaccine adjuvant. Adjuvants are compounds that amplify immune response to hyperstimulate the immune system. They are associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Scientific studies have linked squalene adjuvants to Gulf War syndrome and to a wave of debilitating neurological disorders including epidemics of narcolepsy caused by Glaxo’s H1N1 Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009 swine flu “pandemic.” One study showed a 13-fold increased risk of narcolepsy in children who received Pandemrix.

The devastating cascade of brain injuries to children and health care workers forced the termination of that Glaxo vaccine after European governments used only a small fraction of the jabs they had purchased from Glaxo. A recent study links squalene to carcinomas. In a bizarre and reckless twist, Glaxo has revived the dangerous adjuvant as its hall pass to the COVID-19 money orgy.

The company said it would manufacture a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines. Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one ton of squalene.

Shark Allies, a California-based group, said Glaxo will kill around 250,000 sharks to make enough AS03 for the world’s population to receive one dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. If, as expected, two doses are needed, half a million sharks must die.

Glaxo declared that it would be producing 1 billion doses of AS03 “to support the development of multiple adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”

Glaxo has developed partnerships with multiple companies, including its behemoth rival Sanofi, China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Innovax Biotech in the city of Xiamen. Glaxo has also agreed to make the technology available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for COVID vaccines in Australia and elsewhere. Glaxo said it is focusing on what it considers a “proven technology” that will give the company “several shots on goal.”

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