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Investing in Nanotechnology: FEI Co. (Nasdaq: FEIC) is the Top "Picks and Shovels" Play

The word "nanotechnology" gets thrown around a lot but it still remains a fuzzy concept for most people.

From a self-aware, self-assembling grey goo that takes over the world in a Michael Crichton book, to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) Nano music player or Tata Motor's (NYSE ADR: TTM) Nano car, it's hard to get a clear picture of what nanotech really is.

But as global World Economic Forum member and emerging tech guru Dr. Tim Harper explains, "Nanotechnology is to the 21st Century what chemistry was to the 20th Century."

Like plastics, computers, and the Internet before it, nanotechnology will change the world in ways that we can't even imagine now. That's how powerful the nano-world will become.

That's why every long-term growth investor needs to consider investing in nanotechnology. In terms of scale, the potential for investors is simply enormous.

That's why one company, FEI Co. (Nasdaq: FEIC) is on my list of "buys" as the top "picks and shovels" play.

The Miracle of Nanotechnology

So what exactly is nanotech?

It's a way of working with objects and materials at the atomic level, one molecule at time.

That means that in the near future, we will be able to custom design structures literally from the ground up, molecule by molecule, creating a quantum leap forward in medicine, materials, electronics, food, and fuels - practically everything we know of.

In fact, one of the biggest sectors where nanotech continues to have a huge impact is in drug development and drug delivery.

Recent nanotech developments include: cancer treatments without chemotherapy or radiation, long-dose treatment of diabetes with a single monthly injection, long-release or on-demand blood pressure medications, and textiles to build skin, bone or organs from you own cells.

Developments like these will invariably lead to big money

A recent report by Cientifica, a leading global emerging technology consulting firm predicts:

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