"Eric Drexler, known as the father of nanotechnology, today (Wednesday, 9th June 2004) publishes a paper that admits that self-replicating machines are not vital for large-scale molecular manufacture, and that nanotechnology-based fabrication can be thoroughly non-biological and inherently safe. Talk of runaway self-replicating machines, or 'grey goo', which he first cautioned against in his book Engines of Creation in 1986, has spurred fears that have long hampered rational public debate about nanotechnology. Writing in the Institute of Physics journal Nanotechnology, Drexler slays the myth that molecular manufacture must use dangerous self-replicating machines."
" 'Runaway replicators, while theoretically possible according to the laws of physics, cannot be built with today’s nanotechnology toolset,' says Dr. Drexler, founder of the Foresight Institute, in California, and Senior Research Fellow of the Molecular Engineering Research Institute (MERI). He continued: 'Self-replicating machines aren't necessary for molecular nanotechnology, and aren’t part of current development plans.' "
Nanotech guru turns back on 'goo' - BBC News
Drexler Clarifies Grey Goo Scenario - Slashdot
Special report: nanotechnology - Guardian
Why the future doesn't need us - Wired