Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Picture of the Day

Nerve gas detector built with Legos and a smartphone

Researchers have designed a way to sense dangerous chemicals using, in part, a simple rig consisting of a smartphone and a box made from Lego bricks. The device could help first responders and scientists in the field identify deadly and difficult-to-detect nerve agents such as VX and sarin. The new methodology combines a chemical sensor with photography to detect and identify different nerve agents -- odorless, tasteless chemical weapons that can cause severe illness and death, sometimes within minutes. The new device uses affordable, accessible materials to make an earlier compound more useful in real-world scenarios. The chemical sensors generate fluorescence, which is key to the analysis. Different colors and brightness can signal to first responders which of several nerve agents are present, and in what amount. Because different categories of nerve agents require different decontamination procedures and different treatments for victims -- and because the weapons act swiftly, making time of the essence -- these variations are key.

Visit Website | Image credit: University of Texas at Austin