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In recent months, several environmental groups based in the developing world have expressed their opposition to nanotechnology, arguing that it could have devastating effects on human health and the environment.

But in this article, a group of researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, argue that this debate essentially ignores those in the developing world, and fails to consider how nanotechnology could benefit the five billion people in poorer nations.

They warn that, while there are legitimate risks that need to be managed, an exclusive focus on risks will create another divide, the 'nano-divide' — akin to the digital divide — between industrialised and developing countries.

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