Since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, the fundamental understanding of national security has changed. In October 2001, the Department of Homeland Security was established. Twenty-two existing agencies are now under this one organization. Their assignment is to protect the US from future attacks and ensure a timely response to any future emergencies.
Emerging nanotechnologies are expected to play a critical role in helping to maintain national security. They include new and powerful biodetection schemes that can analyze a potential bioterrorism threat at the point-of-care, materials that can detoxify an area or human exposed to a set of toxins, and novel ways of encoding structures that can be used to secure computer systems.