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Features

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

Xenotransplantation

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

Departments

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  • Taking Computers to Task

  • From the Editor

    The Future and Past of China

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, July 1997

  • Errata

  • Recommended

    Reviews and Commentaries--Sex and Complexity

  • Anti Gravity

    The Emperor's New Toilet Paper

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    50, 100 and 150 Years Ago: Guzzling Gas, Good Bacteria and Hatching Fish in China

  • Wonders

    Bandwidth Galore

  • In Brief

    In Brief

  • Profile

    What will Really be

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Squaring the Square

  • Amateur Scientist

    How-To's of Butterfly Rookeries

  • Science and the Citizen

    Twist and Shout

  • Moroto Morass

  • Parrots and Plunder

  • By the Numbers

    Access to the Internet

  • Working Knowledge

    Guitar-Effects Pedals--Working Knowledge

  • Connections

    Cool Stuff

  • Technology and Business

    Dam Safety

  • Tunnel Visions

  • Helping Heartache

  • The Infinitesimal Gets Smaller

  • Mug Machine

  • In Focus

    Strategic Investments

  • Rights of Passage

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July 1997

Think Outside the Gift Box