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Reindeer noses: Really red?
A pink coloration can be seen on this reindeer's nose.
December 24th, 2012
06:53 AM ET

Reindeer noses: Really red?

Ho ho ho, here's some Christmas-themed science!

The British Medical Journal's Christmas issue this month features a study about reindeer that treats a fantastical idea with some medical reality. The result is a lesson in how reindeer noses compare to the noses of humans and what purpose their underlying structures serve.

Can Ince, a professor who works in intensive care medicine at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, studies microcirculation, or how the smallest blood vessels in the body receive blood. Red blood cells go to these vessels to relieve themselves of oxygen, delivering it to the tissues that need it.

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