Pour un avenir nanotechnologique sûr

Nous vivons, dit-on, au bord d’une révolution nanotechnologique, où la matière est manipulée à une échelle des milliers de fois plus petite que ce que peut voir l’œil humain, et où des matériaux familiers se conduisent d’étranges façons. Cette révolution, si elle est couronnée de succès, va bouleverser notre monde.

Les nanotechnologies renforcent notre contrôle du monde matériel, permettent d’améliorer les technologies existantes et d’en développer de nouvelles. Les possibilités semblent illimitées, depuis la construction de matériaux plus solides et plus légers et la fabrication d’ordinateurs incroyablement petits et immensément puissants, jusqu’au développement de nouvelles sources d’énergie renouvelable et à la conception de soins personnalisés pour combattre le cancer.

La valeur des nanotechnologies intégrées à des produits manufacturés dépasse les 50 milliards de dollars. Plus de 500 produits de consommation comportant des nanotechnologies signalées par les fabricants sont aujourd’hui sur le marché, des cosmétiques aux éléments de voiture en passant par la vaisselle. En se basant sur les recherches de scientifiques de quelque 100 nations du monde, on estime que d’ici 2014 la valeur des produits manufacturés utilisant ces technologies dans le monde dépassera les 2,6 billions de dollars (soit 15 % de la production totale). Si les projections actuelles sont exactes, les nanotechnologies sont potentiellement capables d’avoir un impact dans presque toutes les industries et d’influencer pratiquement tous les aspects de nos vies.

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