"Those stain-resistant khakis you just picked up at the mall, the tennis ball that holds its bounce longer and sunscreen that's clear instead of white have something in common - nanotechnology.
Scientists manipulating matter at the molecular level have improved on hundreds of everyday products in recent years and are promising dramatic breakthroughs in medicine and other industries as billions of dollars a year are pumped into the nascent sector.
But relatively little is known about the potential health and environmental effects of the tiny particles - just atoms wide and small enough to easily penetrate cells in lungs, brains and other organs.
While governments and businesses have begun pumping millions of dollars into researching such effects, scientists and others say nowhere near enough is being spent to determine whether nanomaterials pose a danger to human health."
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