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Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery (RSCAD) News

May 7, 2015

The weekly RSCAD newsletter provides the latest research news, funding opportunities and academic trends.

K-State in the News

K-State Researcher Finds Exercise Aids in Cancer Recovery
05/05/15 SFGate
A Kansas State University researcher has found that fast-walking or light jogging on a regular basis can improve cancer treatments. The university announced Monday that Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology Brad Behnke found a link between moderate exercise and better recoveries in cancer patients. 
USDA Report: COOL Offers Little Economic Benefit

05/04/15 Politico
In a 99-page report delivered Friday, as required by the 2014 farm bill, a team of researchers from Kansas State University and the University of Missouri offer the following: “Based on a review of academic research, we found no evidence that consumer demand for beef or pork has increased because of [mandatory country of origin labeling]. Thus our economic analysis finds no measurable benefits to consumers as a result of [mandatory country of origin labeling].”

Why Do Obese Men Get Bariatric Surgery Far Less Than Women?

05/02/15 Medical News Today
"We think some of it is cultural," said Horgan. "Women seem to be more aware of the problems obesity brings to health. They are much more willing to look at surgical weight loss earlier in life, whereas men tend to wait until they have more co-morbidities (adverse health conditions)." He pointed to a 2014 study from Kansas State University showing differences in health satisfaction between obese men and women. That study found that 72.8 percent-94.0 percent of overweight and obese men were satisfied with their health as compared to 56.7 percent-85.0 percent of overweight and obese women.

The Human Universe: Could We Engineer the Galaxy?
05/04/15 New Scientist
Humans have begun to transform the Earth. We have built cities, transport networks and power stations, and sprinkled the skies with satellites. If we extrapolate this ability to engineer our own environment – for living space, travel, energy and communications – where does it lead us? Could we transform space too? Predicting the far future is a fool's game. So let's take the usual dodge and say: unless something is forbidden by known physics, it will be done. Eventually. 
Before we start, let's invent two things: self-repairing AI supervisors that can direct projects lasting many millennia; and vehicles that can reach close to the speed of light, maybe riding on laser beams or driven by miniature black holes – which according to recent calculations by physicists at Kansas State University may be possible. 
Take the Good Bugs with the Bad Bugs

05/04/15 High Plains Journal
“A beneficial insect is any insect (or arachnid) that help lower the populations of pests,” said Sarah Zukoff, assistant professor of entomology, Kansas State University, Southwest Research and Extension Center. “Pests are anything that affects humans negatively, i.e. in our food, fiber or aspects of our life.”

From our Peers

Wildlife Drop 'May Empty Landscape'
05/05/15 MSN.com
Populations of some of the world's largest wild animals are dwindling, raising the threat of an "empty landscape", say scientists. About 60% of giant herbivores - plant-eaters - including rhinos, elephants and gorillas, are at risk of extinction, according to research. Analysis of 74 herbivore species, published in Science Advances, blamed poaching and habitat loss. A previous study of large carnivores showed similar declines. Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University, led the research looking at herbivores weighing over 100kg, from the reindeer up to the African elephant.
University Says County GMO Measure Could Hamper Research
05/04/15 Houston Chronicle
Oregon State University says a Benton County ballot measure that seeks to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the county could hurt GMO-related university research projects.
The Great Space Twins Study Begins

05/01/15 Time Magazine
“One of the things that comes up almost all the time in the interviews with Mark and Scott is this idea of the twin paradox,” says Susan Bailey, of Colorado State University, who is coordinating the telomere research. “Is the space twin going to come back younger than the Earth twin?”

How a Latex Membrane Could Deliver Quieter Airline Flights

04/30/15 Wired
A team of researchers from North Carolina State University and MIT have designed a lightweight membrane — in its current form, basically a 0.25 millimeter-thick sheet of latex — to cover one side of the lightweight honeycomb structure that is used to build airplanes and helicopters.

S.C. Scientists Find Process for Better Batteries, Fuel Cells

05/03/15 The News & Observer
Scientists from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University have discovered a way to dramatically improve the efficiency of batteries and fuel cells. The research, published in Nature Communications, involves improving the transport of oxygen ions, a key component in converting chemical energy into electricity.

New Funding Opportunities

The Funding Connection

The Funding Connection is a weekly publication of Research & Sponsored Programs. For more information about individual programs and for applications, please e-mail research@k-state.edu or call 785 532-6195.

Check out this week's new funding opportunities.

RSCAD Trending Topics

The Meltdown of a For-Profit College Behemoth

Corinthian Colleges, Inc., was once one of the largest for-profit higher-education companies in North America. The 20-year-old company owned well-known subsidiaries like Heald and Everest, institutions that pledged to provide affordable, efficient vocational training to nontraditional college students: single parents, military vets, high-school dropouts who wanted to get back on track. These colleges promised to help fix the nation’s broken higher-education system, putting degrees conveniently—and often virtually—in the hands of anyone who made the effort. Their commercials were so ubiquitous they were the subject of numerous YouTube spoofs.

Teaching Science So It Sticks

Scott Fisher gets a lot of educational mileage from a postcard. Each quarter Mr. Fisher, a lecturer in astronomy at the University of Oregon, asks students in his introductory course to write to him at his cosmic address. That means not only including his room number here in Willamette Hall and his ZIP code, 97403, but also locating him in the universe. The extra-credit assignment serves one of Mr. Fisher’s main goals for the course: helping students develop a sense of scale, or what he calls "a cosmic perspective." Along the way, he hopes to firm up their tenuous grasp of scientific reasoning and make them more comfortable with science.

Credit Where Credit's Due

The American Historical Association will encourage “reciprocal responsibility” to advance digital scholarship in the discipline, according to draft guidelines the professional organization released on how to evaluate such work for tenure and review purposes.

Behind the Battle Over Dr. Oz, a Question of University Responsibility

Whenever anyone asked, Columbia University has long had a simple rebuttal for critics of Mehmet C. Oz, its telegenic purveyor of medical miracles: "academic freedom." But as questions mount about the doctor’s media-fueled influence, it’s becoming apparent to some experts — even those from and within Columbia — that the case of Dr. Oz might be demonstrating the need for a more modern framework for assessing academic and medical integrity.

NASA’s Messenger Mission Comes to an End As Probe Crashes into Mercury’s Surface

NASA's Messenger spacecraft plummeted from its orbit and slammed into the planet as planned traveling at approximately 8,750 miles an hour, created a crater that is estimated to be about 52 feet across. In 2011, Messenger became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the hot, inhospitable world we call Mercury situated so very close to the sun.  During its time in orbit, it circled the solar systems most innermost planet 4,105 times and collected more than 277,000 images that will keep scientists busy for years to come.

Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium and the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository Announces the Accelerated Distribution of Biospecimen Samples

The Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository has been open for release since September 2013. As part of its strategic effort to accelerate discovery, the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository has modified the process of biospecimen sample release and distribution. Most applications will no longer require scientific review or project disclosure.