Pouring flecks of rust into water usually makes it dirtier. But researchers have developed special iron oxide nanoparticles they call “smart rust” that actually makes it cleaner. Smart rust can attract many substances, including oil, nano- and microplastics, as well as the herbicide glyphosate, depending on the particles’ coating. And because the nanoparticles are magnetic, they can easily be removed from water with a magnet along with the pollutants. Now, the team is reporting that they’ve tweaked the particles to trap estrogen hormones that are potentially harmful to aquatic life.