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

Topsy-turvy currents key to removing nitrate from streams

More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci sketched what he called "la turbolenza," comparing chaotic swirls atop flowing water to curly human hair. It turns out those patterns influence myriad phenomena, from the drag on an airplane's wings and the formation of Jupiter's red spot to the rustling of tree leaves. Now add another to the list: the eradication of a pervasive fertilizer pollutant from streams. Scientists have long known that nitrate-loaded fertilizers run off from farms and city streets into bodies of water, sometimes creating giant "dead zones" hundreds of miles downstream. The prevailing view has been that hungry algae and bacteria in the bottom sediment control how fast nitrate can be removed. But an international team of researchers thought that physics might play a role, too. Churning water serves as a sort of escalator, whirling molecules of the pollutant down to streambeds in a pattern that's a vertical version of Leonardo's long-ago sketches. The study results have important implications for managing nitrate pollution near the source, before it flows to sensitive ecosystems.

Visit Website | Image credit: Morvarid Azizian/University of California, Irvine