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Horizon Scanning Centre
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Institute for the Future |

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Developments in nanotechnology are expected to affect almost every route by which drugs are delivered into the human body, with improvements ranging from incremental to revolutionary.

Carbon nanotube composites promise to enable the creation of lighter and stronger transportation vehicles.

Nanoshells promise to revolutionise oncology by enabling precisely targeted therapies that could replace chemotherapy and radiation.

The first practical biochemical nanocomputing devices are probably a decade or more away, but their development is being fueled by massive investment in research in the genomic sciences and nanotechnologies.

Nanoscale physical materials that can be automatically assembled into useful configurations by computer instructions could usher in a new era in manufacturing.

Smaller, cheaper, more accurate sensors engineered on the nanoscale promise to provide unprecedented access to information about the physical world.

As growing populations exhaust the ability of natural sources to supply fresh water, new nanotechnologies for purification of waste streams and desalinisation of ocean water could fill the gap.

Testing of DNA with nanowire sensors is likely to replace traditional DNA tests, making such testing less expensive, faster, and more widely available as a diagnostic tool.

Nanoscale wires under development today promise to make electronic circuits faster, more powerful, lighter, and cooler, and provide a very efficient method for transmitting electricity.

Smart materials -- a variety of materials engineered for special qualities and capable of interacting with the larger environment -- are likely to proliferate in the coming decades, serving purposes from protecting and helping us to saving energy.

Nanoscale processors are likely to be widely adopted for general computing in most parts of the world by the middle of the century.



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