Suzana Herculano-Houzel

Some people ARE idiots, and that will not change

Associate Professor Suzana Herculano Houzel’s Advice to Young Scientists Students laugh in surprise when I tell them that, like good sense and manners come with a PhD. Sadly, they don’t – and they are also not a requirement for earning the diploma. So: Some people ARE idiots, and will remain so no matter what you […]

Let’s talk about sex… in rats

Everyone knows that sex (voluntary and desired) is good. The question, according to some, is why. Given that the natural consequence of sexual contact is the next generation, some think it would be “unnecessary” for sex to be pleasurable: its “prize”, in evolutionary terms, would be procreation which, by definition, perpetuates the behavior. To resolve […]

Chimpanzees also have Alzheimer’s disease – now what?

Alzheimer’s disease is not my thing, but we live so much now that it’s inevitable that the subject will end up being mentioned in other contexts. In circles that study the diversity of the nervous system and how the human brain compares to (or differs from) others, one statement was particularly common in lectures: “only […]

If only more scientists were like Harry Jerison

I was nobody. I was this Brazilian woman who trained with nobody to be a quantitative neuroanatomist, who did this outrageous thing of turning brains into soup, and had come out of left field from counting neurons with her brain soup to claim that bigger brains were not necessarily made of more neurons; that larger […]

Why brain soup?

I’ve been for 20 years now in the business of collecting brains from different species and turning them into soup to find out what they are made of – how many neurons, how many non-neuronal cells, and soon now how many of the latter are vasculature. Why? The short practical question is “because we didn’t…...

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Do you really want to be a scientist?

(Note: original text republished in full, without any changes.  Unfortunately, all the values are still current 10 years later) Let’s make the necessary caveats first, before the police on duty come and tell me that I’m doing a disservice to Brazilian science. Of course I’d like to see more young people become scientists, and I […]

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