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December 22nd, 2007
The first meeting, staged last week, featured Chad Mirkin, director of Northwestern's International Institute for Nanotechnology, who said that like any advance, nanotech has potential for good and ill. But Mirkin mostly stressed the good.
"Airplanes have been used for horrible purposes," Mirkin said. "So have computers. But I don't think we're going to be getting rid of them."
He described how particles the size of molecules can be crafted to make clothing stain resistant and fight the growth of bacteria in carpeting and drapery. Nano-based research aims to deliver new therapies to fight cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's and other diseases, Mirkin said. Chicago is well positioned to lead in a new branch of health care based on nanotech, he said.
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