Brian H. Yam

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Healthy Eating

How archaeologists found the lost medieval megacity of Angkor | Ars Technica

Recent technology reconstructs the urban grid of a city overtaken by jungle.<p>The ornate, pinecone-shaped towers of Angkor Wat in Cambodia float above …

Three Scientifically Proven Steps For Talking With Strangers

Behavioral scientists have found that strangers are more open to small talk than you might think.<p>Want to be better at small talk? Of course you do–or you will the next time you find yourself at a dinner party, business meeting, or networking event. You can practice the “art” of small talk, or you …

Ancient, hidden cities uncovered by lasers in Cambodia's jungle

The vast cityscapes had been lost to the jungle for centuries, but that's before helicopter-mounted lasers came along.<p>Vast, ancient cities hidden in thick jungle have been uncovered by lasers in Cambodia.<p>Australian archaeologist Damian Evans unveiled the details of the temples in full at the Royal …

Celebrity-backed efforts to fight human trafficking in Southeast Asia tainted by corruption

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Fighting back the tears, Yorn Srea is struggling to control her emotions. In dire need to pay off a family debt, she accepted …

Monster Star Explosion Breaks All Records

Scientists have spotted a supernova as bright as 570 billion suns. Here's how to glimpse one of these rare events from your own backyard.<p>Stunned astronomers have spotted a record-shattering blast from across the universe. The explosion, called a supernova, is so bright that it outshines our sun by …

Space Rocks Delivered One-Two Punch to Ancient Earth

SAN FRANCISCO<p>Scientists link a rare, double impact crater in central Sweden to a 470-million-year-old cataclysm in the asteroid belt.<p>Around 470 million years ago, what is now central Sweden was covered in a shallow, ancient sea inhabited by tiny, plankton-like organisms. The placid scene would soon …

Astronomy

Mystery of Angkor Wat Temple's Huge Stones Solved

The massive sandstone bricks used to construct the 12th-century temple of Angkor Wat were brought to the site via a network of hundreds of canals, …

Wild things return to Angkor Wat

Decades after poachers stripped the forests surrounding Angkor Wat of large mammals, an innovative conservation group is bringing them back. Already, Wildlife Alliance has rewilded the forest with gibbons and langurs. And more are coming.<p>If you’ve ever been lucky enough to wake to gibbons’ song …

The Newly Proposed High Definition Space Telescope Makes Hubble Look Like a Toy

Universe

RNA --Does It Harbor a Clue to the Origin of Life on Earth?

This new revelation about RNA's dual role suggested to some scientists, including Harvard's Jack Szostak, that RNA likely existed long before DNA or …

Do termites dream of robotic bricklayers?

Modelled on termites, robot bricklayers could build structures in places that are too dirty, too dangerous or too dull for humans<p>They have little brains, a dismal work rate, and pay no attention to architects' plans. Rather than looking to humans for inspiration, scientists designing robot …

Why Is the Solar System Flat?

It’s no mystery that the planets, moons, asteroids, etc. in the Solar System are arranged in a more-or-less flat, plate-like alignment in their …

Astronomy

Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

When I first saw this," says cell biologist Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, "it was with total amazement."<p>This is a worm. It's called a planarian. It's about an inch long, and you'll find it gliding along the bottoms of rivers and ponds all over the world. It's very flat, like a moving bit of pasta — …

New Leap Forward Understanding Origin of Life --The Spontaneous Formation of RNA on Early Earth

Today, genetic information is stored in DNA. RNA is created from DNA to put that information into action. RNA can direct the creation of proteins and …

Teach Yourself: Start A Project

I wrote this for High School Students, but it’s applicable to anyone. It’s an address to education and self-fulfillment.<p>More high school and college students should start projects. Projects are a means to bite-size, practical, and self-driven education. They help you navigate interests and learn …

Why did the Universe start off with Hydrogen, Helium, and not much else?

“I see a lot of new faces. But, you know the old saying, ‘out with the old, in with the nucleus.'” –<i>The Simpsons</i><p>Looking around the Universe today, …

Physics

New light cast on dark matter

Following the discovery of the Higgs boson, perhaps the most pressing problem in particle physics is to determine the nature of dark matter. The …