Saturday 24 March 2018

Hi-tech scan reveals we've all got Rudolph on the brain

Tom Wilkinson in Newcastle

A close-up image of a blood vessel in the brain has amazed scientists with its likeness to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Researchers at Newcastle University, north-east England, were studying the inner workings of neurons in the hippocampal region of the brain -- and when they looked at the image they were stunned by the find. The picture looks like a reindeer with antlers flying through the starry sky. Even its eye and tail are visible.

The blob for a nose happened by chance when the experts were labelling the image. They then overexposed the image to make it show up red.

Claudia Racca, who performed the experiment with colleague 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 reindeer.

"We then took an overexposed picture of it and the red blob for the nose and the white antlers showed up even better.

"It may not be very valuable scientifically but it looks nice on the eye."

CAPTION: A seasonal scan of a blood vessel located inside the human brain

Irish Independent

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