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March 27th, 2007
Nanotechnology has fuelled wild expectations. Some have speculated about a carbon mast, so light and strong that it reaches to the heights of the stratosphere, allowing us to simply push satellites into space rather than send them aloft aboard rockets.
Others have fantasized about hydrogen-powered muscle suits that boost speed and agility.
The truth, to date, is considerably less dazzling.
More than 380 new nano-products have already hit the market, according to the product inventory of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The list includes every humdrum innovation from bandages lined with bacteria-fighting silver crystals to dress pants coated with stain-resistant particles, and nano-toothpaste.
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