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It is a science of small with huge opportunities.In future we may never have to wash our shirts, thanks to nanotechnology, and we may have nano-shoes that can absorb the shock of an exploding nuclear device.

This is one of many more far-reaching possibilities of nanotechnology, which basically means engineering of systems at molecular level.”It is material science at its best,” said Sivathanu Pillai, one of India’s top scientists,who is chief controller at the Defence Research and Development Organisation .

He envisages nano-bio-info machines, miniatures invisible to the naked eye but a complex of intelligent tubes and spheres made of a variety of materials. These nano devices can be as small as one nanometre (nm), which is one-billionth of a metre.

Nanotechnology is the science that can ensure sustainability of agriculture and food production and give a solution to water and energy crisis,he says.

“It will give birth to a new world of industrial products, create about two million nanotechnology workers and improve healthcare.”

The Indian defence establishment has made some progress in nano research with a carbon nano-tube manufacturing plant in Kanpur. “Indian industry should wake up and begin thinking afresh on nanotechnology’s scope and applications if it wants to be a world leader in the years to come,” he said.

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