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

August 27, 2015

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

K-State in the News

Post-Storm New Orleans: The Good and the Sad a Decade Later

08/24/15 MSN.com
Lewis greeted us dressed in a skullcap of red, yellow, green and black, red shorts and a red T-shirt that featured the name of the museum he runs in his backyard: the House of Dance & Feathers. It's a museum dedicated primarily to the Mardi Gras Indians, the African-American groups that dress in elaborate beaded costumes and headdresses for Mardi Gras. Lewis once was one. Now he honors the tradition with the museum housed in the long, narrow building rebuilt after Katrina by volunteers from Kansas State University's College of Architecture.

Moran Touts Drones as Valuable for Creating Jobs in Kansas

08/19/15 Huffington Post
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran told reporters after the event that drones are important to the Kansas economy, noting the aviation forum took place at the National Institute of Aviation Research's Aircraft Structural Test and Evaluation Center in Park City. The center tests and analyzes the unmanned aerial vehicles, and others such as Kansas State University also have research programs. The state also has some drone manufacturers.

Health Benefits of Keeping Houseplants

08/24/15 About.com
A study conducted at Kansas State University showed that hospital patients given houseplants heal faster, and the positive energy that houseplants extend to the area around them also helps you feel better and recover from illness.

Exhibit About Middle-Class Art Marketer to Begin Tour
08/24/15 SF Gate
An exhibit about a gallery that marketed art to middle class American homes beginning in the 1930s is going on display next month at Kansas State University before heading to three other museums. Touted as the first critical overview of the Associated American Artists, the exhibit opens Sept. 15 at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art. The Kansas museum has a large collection of AAA prints, and a curator there helped develop the exhibit.
Consumer Reports Safety Alert: Ground Beef

08/25/15 ABC7Chicago.com
"If all cattle were grass-fed, we'd have less beef, and it would be less affordable. Since grass doesn't grow on pasture year-round in many parts of the country, feedlots evolved to make the most efficient use of land, water, fuel, labor, and feed," said Mike Apley, Ph.D. Apley is a veterinarian, professor at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and chair of the Antibiotic Resistance Working Group at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

From Our Peers

You May Want to Start Washing Your Spinach Before You Eat It

08/21/15 MSN.com
What do you do, then, to avoid getting these bacteria onto the foods you intend to eat? Obviously, the correct answer would be to wash them yourself. Well ... "Rinsing isn't going to do a whole heck of a lot for food safety," Dr. Benjamin Chapman, an assistant professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, told Yahoo Health.   

Study Reveals Vast Unrecorded Oil and Gas Industry Methane Emissions
08/18/15 Huffington Post
Until now, emissions from thousands of gathering facilities — which consolidate gas from multiple wells in an area and feed it into processing plants or pipelines — have been largely uncounted in federal statistics, yet they may be the largest methane source in the oil and gas supply chain. Indeed, the newly identified emissions from gathering facilities would increase total emissions from the natural gas supply chain in EPA's current Greenhouse Gas Inventory by approximately 25 percent if added to the tally. The study was conducted by scientists at Colorado State University and published today in Environmental Science & Technology.
Algorithm Interprets Breathing Difficulties to Aid in Medical Care

08/19/15 Bloomberg
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what's happening in the lungs. The research is part of a larger, ongoing project to develop wearable smart medical sensors for monitoring, collecting and interpreting personal health data.

NASA Funds Research to Recycle Human Waste for Deep-Space Travel

08/20/15 Houston Chronicle
A team at South Carolina's Clemson University won a NASA grant for a project that could use human urine and exhaled breath to feed certain yeasts, genetically-modified to produce nutritious fats and even plastic in space. "If you're going to do long-term space travel, you need to find a way to utilize every bit of waste that you produce on that space ship," said Mark Blenner, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Clemson and director of the research project. "It's all about recycling, because you can't just go get new materials."

Video Games Linked to Aggression, Psychologists' Group Says

08/18/15 Drugs.com
There is a link between violent video games and higher levels of aggression in players, according to a new report from a leading group of psychologists. ... Still, study results have been conflicting. Early in 2014, a study of 3,000 children by researchers at Iowa State University found that frequent exposure to violent video did seem to boost the likelihood of aggressive behavior in children and teens.

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.

Highlight from this week's Funding Connection:
National Science Foundation's Kansas EPSCoR announced its First Awards funding opportunity in the areas of climate or energy research or atomic/molecular/optical science. The First Award program helps early career faculty become competitive for funding from the research directorates at the National Science Foundation.
Check out this week's new funding opportunities.

RSCAD Trending Topics

In the NSF's Priciest Grant-Fraud Settlement, Northeastern U. Will Pay $2.7 Million

Northeastern University has agreed to pay $2.7 million to cover nine years of mishandling federal research funds, in the largest-ever civil settlement with the National Science Foundation. The case stems from the management of NSF grant money awarded to Northeastern for work at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, from 2001 to 2010. The work was led by a professor of physics, Stephen ­Reucroft.

Starting Over

The first time that David Kirk visited New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was at the end of 2005. His in-laws were from the city. Kirk and his wife visited them at Christmas, just four months after the storm hit, and then went back again on several more occasions throughout 2006. New Orleans was devastated. Thousands had fled. “I’ll admit I’d drive around the Lower Ninth, taking it all in, feeling a little guilty about being the gawking tourist,” Kirk said not long ago. “It made an impression on me. These neighborhoods were gone.” Kirk is a sociologist at the University of Oxford. He trained at the University of Chicago under Robert Sampson, and, for Sampson and the small army of his former graduate students who now populate sociology departments around the world, neighborhoods are the great obsession: What effect does where you live have on how you turn out? It’s a difficult question to answer because the characteristics of place and the characteristics of the people who happen to live in that place are hard to untangle. As Kirk drove around the Lower Ninth, however, he realized that post-Katrina New Orleans provided one of those rare occasions when fate had neatly separated the two variables. In the course of bringing immeasurable suffering to the people of New Orleans, Katrina created what social scientists call a “natural experiment”: one day, people were in the neighborhoods where they had lived, sometimes for generations. The next day, they were gone—sometimes hundreds of miles away. “They had to move,” Kirk said. What, he wondered, were the implications of that? 

Interesting rebuttal: Malcolm Gladwell’s Pop Science is Whitewashing Katrina Pain and People

Policy: Hurricane Katrina’s Lessons for the World

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the US Gulf coast states. It caused around US$110 billion in damages, more than 1,800 deaths, and displaced 1.2 million people. The disaster led to a rethink of the management of the Gulf coastline. In the seven decades preceding 2005, Louisiana had lost coastal lands, mainly marshes, totalling around 4,900 square kilometres — an area the size of Trinidad and Tobago. Following the hurricane, the President's Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force recommended extensive wetland re-establishment, noting that they “provide a natural flood attenuation function.”

Renowned Researcher: ‘Why I Am No Longer Comfortable’ in the Field of Educational Measurement

Gene V. Glass is a renowned statistician and researcher who has worked for decades in educational psychology and the social sciences. He created the term “meta-analysis” — a statistical process for combining the findings from individual studies in a search for patterns and other data — and described its use in a 1976 speech when he was president of the American Educational Research Association. He has won numerous awards during his career. He is now a Regents’ Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, a senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education. Considering that Glass has spent a career in psychometrics, it becomes news when he decides that he is “no longer comfortable being associated with the discipline of educational measurement.”

Spending by University Research Libraries, 2013-14

Almost all of the 115 institutions that provide data for the Association of Research Libraries' Library Investment Index spent at least a few million dollars more on library materials than on the salaries and wages of their professional staff in 2013-14. One, Iowa State University, spent more than four times as much on materials as on compensation for professional employees.