Among the growing number of collaborations being established between researchers from the United States and those of former communist countries, investigators from a variety of disciplines are calling a burgeoning relationship with one nation the scientific opportunity of a lifetime. They are referring to Mongolia, a country that until two years ago was virtually untrodden by Western scientists.
After its peaceful, democratic "revolution" of 1992, Mongolia opened its borders and its economy to Westerners. Included in this outreach are leaders in the Mongolian science community who want to modernize their research capabilities and develop the country's natural resources.
At the same time, the Mongolian people, according to U.S. scientists who have recently visited there, are also anxious to retain the pristine and diverse nature of their environment.
Researchers say that Mongolia is a storehouse of biological information--from the rich fossil beds of the Gobi Desert to the unexplored ancient lakes...