The hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria. Harvard biologist Donald Pfister claims that both people and reindeer ate the mushrooms. "Reindeers flying -- are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?" he says. John Tann/flickr hide caption

itoggle caption John Tann/flickr

Solar panels like these in England turn energy from the sun into electricity. But researchers are looking to capture the sun's energy to make liquid fuels for cars and trucks, by combining carbon dioxide, water and the chemical element cerium. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The 46-year-old research submarine, here just before a dive in the Gulf of Mexico in November, has made more than 4,600 ocean trips. Over the next year and a half it will be renovated. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Harris/NPR

A core sample from the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico contains oily debris and dead organisms, including this worm. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Harris/NPR

Once the deep-sea sub is in the water, swimmers make final preparations for a dive. Alvin has made more than 4,600 dives. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Harris/NPR

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon (left) starts a wind turbine that will help power the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun. Officials will spend the next two weeks debating how to mobilize money to cope with climate change as temperatures climb, ice melts and seas rise. Israel Leal/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Israel Leal/AP

The deep-water-research submarine Alvin is launched from Atlantis. Scientists are studying how ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico may have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Harris/NPR

This image, which combines X-ray, infrared and optical images, shows a supernova within the galaxy M100 that may contain the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/NASA/CXC/JPL/Caltech hide caption

itoggle caption Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/NASA/CXC/JPL/Caltech

Fred Bartlit Jr., chief investigator of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, at the public hearing in Washington, D.C., on Monday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Genes, made up of tiny strands of DNA, may no longer be patentable under the Justice Department's recent decision. Mark Evans/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Evans/iStockphoto.com

A study finds that more than 800 species of vertebrates are moving closer to extinction, a fate that befell the golden toad. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

A core sample from the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico shows a 2-inch layer of oily material. Researchers are finding oil on the seafloor miles away from the blown-out BP well.  Though researchers have yet to chemically link the oil deposits to the BP well, "the sheer coverage here is leading us all to come to the conclusion that it has to be sedimented oil from the oil spill because it's all over the place," says one scientist. Courtesy of Samantha Joye hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Samantha Joye