Author Archives: Elena Blanco-Suarez, Ph.D.

April 18

BRINGING JOY BACK TO CHILDBIRTH

[En español] In the US alone, 3 million new moms suffer from postpartum depression, or PPD. Most moms agree that, despite the discomfort during pregnancy and the pain during labor, childbirth is a joyful experience. And I imagine that must be true as many women around the world have more than one child. However, postpartum […]

December 13

Astrocytes, the Underrated Stars

[En español] You usually hear the term “brain cell” referring to neurons, like they’re the only cell type present in the brain. But that’s far from the case. Neurons can be considered the main cellular unit in our nervous system, as they are the cells that transfer the information by means of electrical and chemical signals. […]

October 18

Follow the Flock

[En español] Have you ever tried a cigarette? I have. I was a teen, and holding a cigarette looked pretty cool, but smoking seemed disgusting, and it left a horrible smell in my hair, clothes and fingers. So I didn’t get hooked. But, seriously, why did I even try it in the first place? It […]

August 09

The Power of Neuroscience Compels You!

[En español] Last February the Vatican announced that it was offering an exorcism training course* for priests. At first I thought it was a great way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the release of the wonderful horror classic The Exorcist, but as it turned out, this initiative was in response to an alarming rise in […]

March 08

The Art of Brainwashing

[En español] Have you ever tried to convince someone of something? Or have you ever been convinced of something? Of course you have. Everyone has. We are constantly bombarded with commercials for products to buy, and exposed to people’s rants, in real life or online, about how we should be voting, and what we should […]

January 04

The Campus Tour – Let’s Spread the Science

Are you a scientist? Are you interested in science communication? Then keep reading! Imagine a scene that might have taken place last week… You were sitting at the table with your relatives, stuffing your face with delicious home-cooked food and chatting about the latest nonsense in the news. Everyone is quite entertained, maybe someone has […]

September 21

Scratch that itch

[En español] One of the greatest pleasures in life is to scratch an itch – in both the real and figurative sense. Although scratching an itch provides immediate (albeit temporary) relief, it may actually trigger the mechanism that makes us itch. So the more we scratch, the itchier we get, turning the short-lived pleasure into a […]

July 06

A nerve-racking issue

[En español] In 1936, a scientist named Gerhard Schrader was hired by the German government to end a bothersome and destructive beetle pest that was devastating German farms. Mixing different molecules (because that’s what we scientists do) he came across the recipe for the deadly nerve agent tabun. Even though his purpose was to create […]

April 13

Read because you can

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Once upon a time, when I was fairly young, my mom invested her time to teach me to read, so I learned just a bit earlier than my […]

March 23

Are computers like brains?

[En español] A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an article, after a friend of mine (and fellow neuroscientist) posted it on one of the multiple social media outlets we manage these days. I felt immediately curious about its content, with a title that cleverly teases neuroscientists: Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor? After reading […]