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In Search of the Lost Empire of the Maya

for National Geographic
Published: September 2016


The ambitious Snake kings used force and diplomacy to create the most powerful alliance in their culture’s history.
The writer, Erik Vance, explores a patch of cloud forest near El Zapotal, Veracruz. (Dominic Bracco II / Prime for Biographic)

A Forest Hidden by Fog

for bioGraphic
Published: September 2016


Spellbound by an idea, a writer sets out to find the mythical cloud forest—and shines a bright light on an endangered ecosystem.
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Why trials of autism treatments have a placebo problem

for Spectrum
Published: November 2016


People with autism — and their family members — are susceptible to powerful placebo effects. Some researchers are using the problem to better understand this mystifying phenomenon.
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Mesmerising

for Aeon
Published: November 2016


Look into my eyes: the fantastical history, mysterious healing power and emergent neuroscience of hypnosis
Copyright Dominic Bracco II

An Ocean Apart

for Virginia Quarterly Review
Published: Spring 2015


Can two forces threatening the sustainability of sharks—the fishermen of Mexico and consumers in China—help the fish survive?
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Hugh and the Boobies

for Hakai Magazine
Published: April 22, 2015


Like characters in a soap opera, boobies on a remote Mexican island cheat, kill, and jostle for power.
Copyright Dominic Bracco II

Feeding the Billions

for Scientific American
Published: April 2015


How a small group of visionaries are trying to feed China—and save the world's oceans.
MayaNG

Losing Maya Heritage to Looters

for National Geographic
Published: August 8, 2014


Stolen artifacts are making it from the Guatemalan jungle to wealthy black-market buyers.
Vespula vulgaris

Manifesto of a Wasp Scientist

for The Last Word on Nothing

All characters in this essay are fictional and should not be confused with real scientists. I ask that no bee researcher take offense.