The celebrated physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman was the first to predict the opportunities presented by the manipulation of matter at the level of individual atoms and molecules. Today, almost 50 years after his classic lecture on the wonders of the small world, the evolving nanotechnologies have the potential to bring about major changes in the lives of citizens. However, the very same properties that make engineered nanomaterials so promising from a technological perspective, such as their high degree of reactivity and the ability to cross biological barriers, could also make these novel materials harmful to human health and the environment. Therefore, exploitation of the full potential of the nanotechnologies requires close attention to safety issues. The 1st Nobel Forum mini-symposium on nanotoxicology was recently held in Stockholm, Sweden, and the program was devoted to the topic of definitions and standardization in nanotoxicological research, as well as nano-specific risk assessment and regulatory/legislative issues. Examples of recent and ongoing studies of carbon-based nanomaterials, including single-walled carbon nanotubes, using a wide range of in vitro and in vivo model systems were also presented. The current review will provide some highlights and conclusions from this exciting meeting.