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October 24th, 2004

Small science generates a big fuss

The science of very small things, nanotechnology, is still in its infancy but could revolutionise medicine, electronics and chemistry. This field of endeavour which involves making tiny components, often as small as one thousand millionth of a metre, could lead to advances from windows that repel dirt to the creation of speck-like medical robots that hunt down germs in the human body.

Given its vast possibilities, scientists ought to be looking forward to public discussion of this nascent science. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many fear that discussion will be limited to the potential risks and dangers of nanotechnologies, and that this could impede or even halt the progress of the new science.


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