Materials Science research is now entering a new phase where the structure and properties of materials can be investigated, characterized and controlled at the nanoscale. New and sometimes unexpected materials properties appear at the nanoscale, thus bringing new excitement to this research field. In this talk, special emphasis will be given to one-dimensional nanotubes and nanowires because they exhibit unusual physical properties, due to their reduced dimensionality and their enhanced surface/volume ratio. These unusual properties have attracted interest in their potential for applications in novel electronic, optical, magnetic and thermoelectric devices. Some examples of research accomplishments and opportunities at the nanoscale will be described, with special attention given to recent research results from our laboratory on nanotubes and nanowires.