Rudolph the Red Nosed blood vessel

Dec 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A spectacular Christmas image of a 'Rudolph' blood vessel in the brain has emerged as part of an experiment at Newcastle University.

The picture, a close up image of a brain blood vessel, appears to look like a reindeer with antlers flying through the starry sky. Even its eye and tail are visible.

The experiment was designed to look at the inner workings of in the hippocampal region of the , but when the scientists took a closer look they were amazed by what they had found.

 Dr Claudia Racca, of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, who performed the experiment along with colleague Dr David Cox said: “Biology can throw up things like this, but it was a nice surprise to find this image.

“We were looking at a section of the tissue and noticed this strange but familiar shape. It was intriguing and we noticed the similarity to a . We then took an overexposed picture of it and the red blob for the nose and the white antlers showed up even better.

“We got distracted from the science at that point and had a bit of fun with the pictures of Rudolph instead. It may not be very valuable scientifically but it looks nice on the eye.”

Explore further: Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Provided by Newcastle University

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