Richard HarrisAward-winning journalist Richard Harris reports on biomedical research for NPR's newsmagazines, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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