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July 9th, 2007
Nanotechnology’s dark side
It's not something Mork from Ork said, nor is it science fiction. Nanotechnology is here, and though its capabilities are near-miraculous, it has a dark side to which the federal government doesn't seem to be devoting as much attention as it should.
Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter on a molecular level. Scientists can create new materials by building them atom by atom, or extract new properties from existing materials by cutting them back to sizes as small as a nanometer, which is about one-hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair.
The resulting substances range from "gee whiz," such as the bacteria-killing silver nanoparticle coating on the mouse I'm using, to downright mind-blowing, such as drugs that seek out and destroy cancer cells.
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