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clear CIAO Focus, July 2004: Nanotechnology
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Nanoporous silica
Nanotechnology is the science of building materials at the molecular level. Taking its name from a nanometer (one-billionth of a meter), nanotechnology is poised to change many aspects of technology and has potentially wide-ranging social ramifications. Government-sponsored R&D in nanotechnology has increased from US$116 million in fiscal year 1997 to nearly one billion dollars in 2004. Private industry is investing billions more. The National Science Foundation has predicted that the nanotechnology goods and services market could reach US$1 trillion by 2015. Special attention is being paid by the Environmental Protection Agency and others to the effects of nanotechnology on the environment. Current military research efforts seek to reduce the weight and increase the strength of gear, produce advanced protective materials for soldiers and other personnel, develop sensors for biological and chemical attacks and landmines, and make ever smarter weapons, to name but a few. Smaller thermonuclear devices with decreased radioactive fallout also appear possible. The development of self-replicating molecular machines would greatly decrease the costs of nanotechnology. Should such self-replication prove feasible, researchers predict the need for treaties to ensure the technology's proper use.

From CIAO's database:

Report on Working Group 5 (New Technology For Human Development and Security), the 53rd Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs Advancing Human Security: The Role of Technology and Politics

Science and Innovation Policy: Key Challenges and Opportunities (PDF)

Production In A Digital Era: Commodity or Strategic Weapon? (PDF)

Renewable Energy And New Technologies (PDF)

Outside Links*:

Channels: Nanotechnology

National Nanotechnology Initiative

Latest News from Sudan


Foresight Institute: Preparing for nanotechnology

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