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

August 6, 2015

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

K-State in the News

10 Things Married Couples Won't Tell You

07/31/15 MSN.com
The link between money and marital solidity is hardly surprising: After all, financial disagreements are the type of argument most likely to predict divorce, according to a 2012 study by the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University.

Smithsonian To Host Innovation Festival at National Museum of American History

07/30/15 Bloomberg
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will host an innovation festival Sept. 26 and 27 as a signature event of the collaboration between the Smithsonian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thirteen companies, universities, government agencies and independent inventors, selected by a juried panel, will participate in the festival, which will explore how today's inventors are creating the world of the future.

  • Kansas State University will discuss hydrogels, substances that can transform from a jelly-like state to a liquid-like state, which are being researched for use in medical device applications such as growing and harvesting cells to assist in cell therapy or regenerative medicine and cancer treatment.
Is Your Job Making You sick? From ‘iPhone Finger’ to Chronic Diseases, the Health Hazards at Your Desk — and How to Beat Them 

07/30/15 Daily Mail
A 2013 study by scientists at Kansas State University found that people who spend more than four hours a day sitting down are at greater risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

What Food Labels Really Mean
07/28/15 Examiner.com
Food safety specialist Londa Nwadike, explains in a piece for Kansas State University what food labels really mean. "There is currently no broadly regulated definition for the label “natural,” Nwadike said. “For meat products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a specific definition for what constitutes a natural product, which pertains to the processing method. But for all other products, the Food and Drug Administration does not have a regulated definition for the term ‘natural’ right now,” said Nwadike, state extension consumer food safety specialist for Kansas State University and the University of Missouri.
Pill That Allows Gluten-Averse to Have Bread, Beer Comes to Stores 2017

07/28/15 Eater
Dr. Mary Higgins, an associate human nutrition professor at Kansas State University, tells Eater she would recommend people with Celiac disease discuss the pill with their doctors if it does come to market. Higgins adds that there is definitely a need for this type of pill: "People with celiac disease currently cannot safely eat foods that contain even minuscule amounts of gluten. This pill could be a wonderful product to use, for example, on occasions when they are traveling and must eat away from home."

Cattle Movement Estimation Study Sheds Light on Disease Risk

08/03/15 Science Daily
A new technique developed by a Kansas State University researcher helps estimate the movement of beef cattle to determine the risk of disease. Caterina Scoglio, professor of electrical and computer engineering, co-authored a study that used aggregated data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to estimate detailed movement of cattle.

From Our Peers

Techies Reportedly Destroying Raleigh's Southern Accent

07/30/15 Yahoo! Finance
Techies get blamed for a lot of things, from gentrification to snobbishness to a lack of basic empathy. But it's rare to hear that computer geeks are dismantling an entire city's dialect, something that's reportedly happening in Raleigh, North Carolina. Speech patterns among locals stayed about the same in the early-to-mid 20th century, according to Robin Dodsworth, a sociolinguistics professor at North Carolina State University. But after the 1950s, people began to talk differently, losing typical vowel sounds—for instance, saying "kid" instead of "kee-yid"—and speaking in a more Northern way.   

Woo-Hoo! Companies Junk Performance Reviews
07/23/15 Bloomberg
Kevin Murphy, a scientist at Colorado State University and a performance appraisal expert, described some issues with performance reviews in an email to The New Yorker: Managers have incentives to inflate appraisals; even accurate feedback can feel biased and unfair, making people less motivated and hurting relationships between supervisors and subordinates; and organizations don’t do a good job of rewarding good evaluators and sanctioning bad ones. “As a result, annual appraisals end up as a source of anxiety and annoyance rather than a source of useful information,” Murphy wrote.
The Evolutionary Link Between Diet and Stomach Acidity

07/30/15 Bloomberg
An analysis of data on stomach acidity and diet in birds and mammals suggests that high levels of stomach acidity developed not to help animals break down food, but to defend animals against food poisoning. The work raises interesting questions about the evolution of stomach acidity in humans, and how modern life may be affecting both our stomach acidity and the microbial communities that live in our guts. "We started this project because we wanted to better understand the relationship between stomach acidity, diet and the microbes that live in the guts of birds and mammals," says DeAnna Beasley, a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work. "Our idea was that this could offer some context for looking at the role of the human stomach in influencing gut microbes, and what that may mean for human health."

Auburn University Signs Space Act Agreement With NASA

07/31/15 Houston Chronicle
Auburn University has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to explore and advance the applications of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.

GMO Labeling Debate: Controversy Over Genetically Modified Organisms Driven By Politics And Emotions, Not Science, Sociologist Says

07/30/15 International Business Times
“If you look at the arguments GMO proponents use, and the arguments that have really resonated with segments of consumers, it has been nothing to do with science," Carmen Bain, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University, whose research includes social aspects of genetically modified foods, said in an interview with ABC Rural, an Australian news site.

Breeding a Better Peanut Butter

07/30/15 EurekAlert!
Peanuts are big — big business that is. According to the National Peanut Board, Americans spend about $800 million a year on peanut butter, and peanuts contribute more than $4 billion a year to the US economy. A new variety of peanut, called OLe, has recently been released by a team of researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and their colleagues at Oklahoma State University.

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.

Highlights from this week's Funding Connection:
The National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks proposals for new approaches to and evidence-based research on the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments. In addition, 12 graduate student fellowship opportunities were announced this week. 

Check out this week's new funding opportunities.

RSCAD Trending Topics

Librarians Leap to the Aid of Researchers Whose Funding Will Soon Depend on Open Access

As more federal agencies begin requiring grant recipients to make research results freely available to the public, college librarians have taken on a new role: helping researchers comply with open-access rules.

Successful Ebola Vaccine Provides 100% Protection in Trial

An experimental Ebola vaccine seems to confer total protection against infection in people who are at high risk of contracting the virus, according to the preliminary results of a trial in Guinea that were announced today and published1 in The Lancet. They are the first evidence that a vaccine protects humans from Ebola infection. “We believe the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine," Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization's assistant director-general for health systems and innovation, said during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, today.

New Way to Hinder Social Science Grants

Representative Lamar Smith may be among the least popular members of Congress with social scientists. As chair of the House science committee, the Texas Republican has pushed legislation that would result in significantly lower funding levels for social science research supported by the National Science Foundation, and he has repeatedly questioned grants in social science disciplines. Smith's popularity isn't going up with a new bill on the NSF, which advocates for the social sciences say is a deliberate attempt to make it more difficult for scholars to win grants and seeks to change the definition of basic research. The legislation would require that "each NSF public announcement of a grant award be accompanied by a non-technical explanation of the project’s scientific merits and how it serves the national interest."

Links between Arts, Learning, and Neuroscience Examined in New NEA Report 

What are the links between brain function and creativity? How can this knowledge affect the way we learn, work, and thrive? More than a dozen experts, including neurologists, artists, and cognitive psychologists, consider these and other questions in a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts titled How Creativity Works in the BrainThe report stems from a July 2014 research workshop co-sponsored by the NEA and the Santa Fe Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and education center. The report follows other NEA initiatives at the intersection of the arts, health, and science, including the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership. “The time is ripe for bringing together artists, scientists, and educators to collaboratively confront the question of how creativity functions in the brain,” said Bill O’Brien, NEA senior advisor to the chairman for innovation. “Imagine the potential for our nation's health, education, culture, and productivity if we were able to truly understand the anatomy of our ‘aha’ moments, and how they can be nurtured, optimized, and deployed.”

New Leaders Bring Marketing Chops to University Presses

Dennis Lloyd could be forgiven if he felt nervous about his new job. After almost 10 years at the University Press of Florida, Mr. Lloyd has just taken over as director of the University of Wisconsin Press. Running a nonprofit scholarly publishing operation, especially one in a state-university system handed major budget cuts, isn’t a walk in the park these days. But Mr. Lloyd sounds unfazed by what’s now expected of a press director. "I’m thrilled to be here," he says. "I’m in an industry that constantly evolves, that constantly changes." The constriction of budgets, the decline of the monograph market, the arrival of digital publishing, the rise of open access: University presses have weathered many changes over the past decade. One recent shift hasn’t gotten much attention outside the scholarly publishing community: a major turnover in press leadership, as longtime directors retire and make way for a new set of leaders, including Mr. Lloyd.

Your Kid’s Picky Eating May Not Be So Harmless After All

Picky eating is such a common complaint among parents of young children that some physicians consider it a normal part of childhood development. As many as 20 percent of parents of preschoolers say they experience a familiar struggle: Child refuses to eat certain foods, parent engages in an attempt — not always successful —to force him or her to try it. Rinse and repeat. Sure, parents fear the potential nutritional consequences of this kind of behavior. But could it be that these problems are signs of something deeper — and perhaps longer-lasting? Researchers at Duke University have taken a closer look at those children in a new study and made some surprising findings.

Vanderbilt Releases More Information on Elusive Red-Tape Study

Vanderbilt University has released more information about its noted red-tape study, which for months has been trumpeted by some observers as evidence of smothering government regulation in higher education. The Chronicle has repeatedly requested access to the study, which asserts the university spent roughly $150 million to comply with regulations in 2013-14.