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December 2nd, 2007
Opinion: New science's promise makes it imperative that lessons of past be learned
The promises of nanotechnology are enormous. Society could, according to a sober Congressional Research Service report, learn how to solve problems in medicine, manufacturing, construction, computing and telecommunication in a way that would benefit all mankind. Lives can be saved, hungry people can be fed, and jobs can be created.
Yet the life span of products and the residue of processes are little understood and could pose a long-term threat that we do not yet comprehend.
If we push ahead too quickly, unintended consequences could come back to haunt us. On the other hand, too much hesitation could delay or destroy a chance to solve critical problems.
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