"Another Doomsday, Another Dollar" is a commentary by Charlotte Laws, Ph.D, published on emagazine.com. Dr. Laws refers to "reputable experts" who warn about the danger of "miniature, self-replicating machines that gnaw away at the environment until it is devoid of life." She also says this "could result from a laboratory mishap."
The fearsome possibility of so-called gray goo was raised during the early development of nanotechnology theory. But more recent, detailed analyses of potential pathways to safe exponential manufacturing show that it should not be a primary concern.
Current proposals for development and use of molecular manufacturing involve nothing like free-roaming tiny robots "that gnaw away at the environment," and pose no risk of producing gray goo by accident at any point. The idea that nanotechnology manufacturing systems could run amok is based on outdated information.
There are, however, numerous greater risks from molecular manufacturing that may happen almost immediately after the technology is developed. Worse and more imminent dangers may come, for example, from non-replicating nano-weaponry. Focusing only on gray goo allows more urgent technology and security issues to remain unexplored.