This idea is part of the evolving science of precision agriculture, in which farmers use technology to target their use of water, fertilizer and other inputs. Precision farming makes agriculture more sustainable because it reduces waste.
The worries that even nanotech proponents had in the early 2000s about possible health and environmental risks - and their impact on investor and consumer confidence - seem to have evaporated. So what's changed?
If Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO of Amazon, has his way, thousands of drones could soon be hurtling through the airspace above our heads, delivering millions of packages to Amazon's customers. Instead of having to wait the eternity of a day to receive their orders, consumers could get them in 30 minutes, or less.
When researchers need to compare complex new genomes; or map new regions of the Arctic in high-resolution detail; or detect signs of dark matter; or make sense of massive amounts of fMRI data, they turn to the high-performance computing and data analysis systems supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).