Nanotubes have been in the news lately. What's a nanotube? It's a single cylindrical molecule of graphite rolled up into a little tube about a nanometer across. That's a billionth of a meter. They can be several millimeters long.
By themselves, nanotubes are just ("just!") a cool piece of organic chemistry, part of the generally megaboss fullerene family. But lately chemists have been coming up with lots of really amazing applications for nanotubes.
First of all, there's the nanotube radio -- a tiny, functional radio made of a single carbon nanotube.
Next up, carbon nanotubes can attack bacteria and other germs, fighting biological wars down at the molecular level.
And, finally, someday people may be able to ride up to space aboard an elevator climbing a 50,000 mile cable made of nanotubes.
From the very big to the very small, nanotubes do it all. Plus they make great Christmas stocking stuffers, if you have really really tiny stockings.