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January 07, 2004

THE UNITED STATES NANOTECHNOLOGY BUSINESS is pooh-poohing the prospects for true molecular manufacturing, in no small part because it thinks -- wrongly in my opinion -- that by doing so it will forestall Luddite assaults on nanotechnology. But I spoke recently with one U.S. nanotech researcher who fears that the consequence of this attitude will be to forestall ground-breaking research here (while people focus on things like nanopants and comparatively modest improvements in materials and electronics) and allow other nations to get the jump on us.

One nation he particularly feared was China, so I was interested to read this firsthand account by a Chinese nanotechnology researcher. No nanobots here, but evidence that they're working in the area. (Via Brainstorming). Note that China now ranks third in the world for nanotechnology patent applications.