China is looking at the big picture with a huge injection of funds into the science of nanotechnology - or manipulating single atoms and molecules. Xie Sishen, a chief scientist of nanotechnology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in Shanghai that the nation has earmarked a fund of more than 620 million yuan (US$83.66 million) for research and development involving nanotechnology from 2006 to 2010. This is 20 million yuan more than its overall investment in the area from 1991-2005.
The technology can be used in myriad ways, Xie said, from treating serious diseases, to improving air and water quality. But he added a word of warning. "Nanotechnology is a double-edge sword," Xie said during the Third Shanghai International Nanotechnology Cooperation Symposium. While the technology has undoubted scientific clout, care should be exercised, as with any innovation.