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Countries endowed with great research institutions know it all too well. In order to stay in the race for innovation in the 21st century, they need to be involved and successful in four fronts, summarized by the acronym "NBIC": nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive sciences. Nanotechnology came back into the spotlight early 2010 following a particularly heated public debate in France, which emphasized the ethical and environmental concerns over an assessment of the potential of this new scientific frontier. Speaking of which, what is the real promise of nanotechnology? What can we say about the astronomical profits that certain big American consulting firms promised industrialists who were ready to embark on the adventure? In short, is nanomania meant to last?

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