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Today's nanotechnology harnesses current progress in chemistry, physics, materials science, and biotechnology to create novel materials that have unique properties because their structures are determined on the nanometer scale. Some of these materials have already found their ways into consumer products, such as sun screens and stain-resistant pants. Others are being intensively researched for solutions to humanity's greatest problems — diseases, clean energy, clean water, etc. Other work is aimed at developing a roadmap for productive nanosystems, in which a path is sought from today's nanotechnology capabilities to advanced future systems in which molecular tools will build useful materials, devices, and complex systems to atomic precision. The products of advanced nanotechnology that will become available in coming decades promise even more revolutionary applications than the products of current and near-term nanotechnology.
Foresight has identified six Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges in which current and near-term nanotechnology is providing hope for solving critical challenges facing humanity.
Since June of 2005, the Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest has provided news on progress toward meeting each of the six Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges.
The products of molecular manufacturing, which will include microscopic robots and large complex systems, all manufactured to atomic precision, will transform many areas of life, including medicine, the exploration and colonization of space, and efforts to protect and restore the Environment.