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China's Buddhist Treasures at Dunhuang

Cave temples along the ancient Silk Road document the cultural and religious transformations of a millennium. Researchers are striving to preserve these endangered statues and paintings

By Neville Agnew and Fan Jinshi

Gamma-Ray Bursts

New observations illuminate the most powerful explosions in the universe

By Gerald J. Fishman and Dieter H. Hartmann


After struggling for decades with a shortage of donated organs from cadavers, transplant surgeons may soon have another source to tap

By David K. C. Cooper, Robert P. Lanza and William L. Chick

Strong Fabrics for Fast Sails

Composite fabrics first developed for the sails of racing yachts may soon find use in parachutes and research balloons

By Brian E. Doyle

Asbestos Revisited

Once considered safe enough to use in toothpaste, this unique substance has intrigued people for more than 2,000 years

By James E. Alleman and Brooke T. Mossman

Global Population and the Nitrogen Cycle

Feeding humankind now demands so much nitrogen-based fertilizer that the distribution of nitrogen on the earth has been changed in dramatic, and sometimes dangerous, ways

By Vaclav Smil


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