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

July 16, 2015

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

K-State in the News

Does Your DNA Spell Out 'CEO'?
07/06/15 MSN.com
Kansas State University and National University of Singapore researchers zeroed in on the dopamine transporter gene DAT1, previously linked to impulsivity, self-regulation and a head-on approach to situations. To examine how DAT1 affects leadership, they focused on two traits thought to drive leadership: mild rule-breaking — like skipping school or drinking alcohol — and proactive personality, which includes foresight, persistence and other characteristics needed to make positive organizational changes.
These Mosquitoes Are Designed To Self-Destruct
07/09/15 MSN.com
"The chikungunya virus can mutate and is permanently established in the Americas," says Stephen Higgs, director of the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University.
Do You Care Where Your Steak Came From?

07/07/15 Yahoo! Finance
Fewer than 30 percent of shoppers recently surveyed by Kansas State University researchers were even aware of the country labels. And for those who were, the labels' effect on their decision-making was negligible.

Breakthrough SDMA Kidney Function Test Now Available from IDEXX

07/13/15 Yahoo! Finance
"SDMA appears to be a major step forward in our diagnostic approach to chronic kidney disease," said Greg Grauer, DVM, MS, DACVIM, professor and Jarvis chair of small animal internal medicine, Kansas State University. "The potential role of SDMA in diagnosing chronic kidney disease, especially early chronic kidney disease, is a promising new direction in veterinary nephrology."

Recent Agricultural Pest Stems From One Fly Generation's Big Genetic Shift, Evolution Study Finds

07/08/15 Science Daily
A new study involving a Kansas State University entomologist reveals that the genes of a fruit fly that has plagued American apple producers for more than 150 years is the result of an extremely rapid evolutionary change.

Genomics Can Match Plant Variety to Climate Stresses

07/09/15 Science Daily
A new study led by a Kansas State University geneticist has shown that genomic signatures of adaptation in crop plants can help predict how crop varieties respond to stress from their environments.

From Our Peers

Can the White House Convince Americans That GMOs Are Safe?
07/07/15 MSN.com
Winning over hearts and minds won't be easy. ... Any successful effort to bridge that gap would need to confront the root causes of the divide. And according to Jayson Lusk, a professor of agriculture at Oklahoma State University, fear over GMOs is largely fueled by a lack of understanding of genetic modification — not concern about government regulation.   
Colleges in Cuba, US Build Ties As Diplomatic Tensions Ease
07/10/15 MSN.com
At Auburn University in Alabama, the college of agriculture agreed to partner with the Agrarian University of Havana under a new five-year exchange agreement. 
A Push To Restore Pride in the Way Appalachians Speak

07/13/15 Huffington Post
"There's a kind of re-appropriation of things 'hillbilly,' which were once considered to be a negative stigma, and embracing it and turning that around into something positive. So people will say, 'Yeah, I'm hillbilly, and proud of it!'" said Walt Wolfram, a linguist at North Carolina State University.

Early Lead Exposure Affects Gene Expression Throughout Life

07/10/15 Bloomberg
A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University biologists Cathrine Hoyo and Randy Jirtle have found links between lead exposure in children and epigenetic alterations in regulatory regions of genes that are imprinted and known to be critical in growth regulation and brain development. These alterations seem to persist into adulthood, with more profound effects in males. Their study sheds more light on the long-term effects of early lead exposure on DNA and may help to develop therapies to treat or reverse the damage.

Seeing the Benefits of Cover Crops, With Radishes and Rye
07/11/15 Bloomberg
[Iowa State University's] STRIPS — Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips — began in the fall of 2003 at a single site at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City. Today, STRIPS personnel ... have helped more than 20 farmers across Iowa and northern Missouri — including Cedar Rapids-owned farmland near The Eastern Iowa Airport — install native prairie on their fields. "It's not a silver bullet. It's another tool in the toolbox for saving soil and reducing the loss of nutrients to surface water," said Tim Youngquist, an ISU agricultural specialist who helps farmers and landowners design and install prairie strips.
Fossils Indicate Human Activities Have Disturbed Ecosystem Resilience
07/13/15 Science Daily
A collection of fossilized owl pellets in Utah suggests that when Earth went through a period of rapid warming about 13,000 years ago, the small mammal community was stable and resilient, even as individual species changed along with the habitat and landscape. By contrast, human-caused changes to the environment since the late 1800s have caused an enormous drop in biomass and "energy flow" in this same community, researchers reported today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The dramatic decline in this energy flow — a measurement of the energy needed to sustain the biomass of this group of animals for a given amount of time — shows that modern ecosystems are not adapting as well today as they once did in the past. While climate change is one part of this problem, researchers at Oregon State University and the University of New Hampshire have found that changes in land cover have been far more important in the last century.

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

Researchers Plan ‘Credential Registry’ to Compare Educational Qualifications

The widening range of labor-market credentials available have pushed researchers to propose a credential registry, similar to a database of academic programs, that will offer a deeper look at different certifications. Researchers at George Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development, and Workcred, a nonprofit associated with the American National Standards Institute, were awarded a $2.25-million grant from the Lumina Foundation to develop the system.

Scientists Jubilant As Pluto Mission Phones Home — Safe

NASA's New Horizons mission phoned home on the night of 14 July, sending a burst of telemetry data that confirmed it had successfully flown past Pluto in the first-ever visit to the dwarf planet. Engineers and scientists in mission control, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, erupted into cheers just before 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) as the signal appeared, as a strings of 1s and 0s, confirming that a deep-space antenna in Madrid had locked onto the spacecraft's signal.

One of Today’s Great Generation Gaps: Whether You Think Pluto Is a Planet

As the world marvels at the first-ever close-up images of Pluto beamed to Earth this week, it is a reminder of a sharp global divide: Those with nine-planet childhoods vs. those now growing up in a solar system defined by eight planets.

The Neuroscience of Interrogation: Why Torture Doesn’t Work

The abuses of power and process at the American Psychological Association, reported in an independent review that was disclosed last week, are an ethical debacle. They are also a scientific debacle, because study after study shows that torture doesn’t work.

Now You See It, Some Day You Won't: Scientists Get Closer To Invisibility

Using lenses and meta-materials, science is finding new ways to bend or reroute light. Like Harry Potter's cloak or H.G. Wells' chemical concoction, it could make an object impossible to see.