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

September 24, 2015

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

K-State in the News

Is Baby Fever Real?

09/15/15 Yahoo! Parenting
While few researchers have studied baby fever, a 2012 study in the journal Emotion confirmed it’s a real phenomenon that both men and women report experiencing. Rather than simply wanting a baby due to society’s expectations or winding up with a baby as a result of the desire for sex, “there’s something distinct that’s going on where people want to have children specifically,” says study author Gary Brase, a psychology professor at Kansas State University.

Board of Regents Prioritizes KU Science in Budget Request

09/18/15 The Kansas City Star
The Kansas Board of Regents approved its budget request for the next legislative session on Thursday, placing at the top of its list of priorities a request for state lawmakers to provide more than $10 million in funding to build new science facilities at the University of Kansas. ... Other top priorities for fiscal year 2017, which ends in July 2017, are $2 million to establish a department of chemical and materials engineering at Wichita State University, $3.4 million for merit-based raises to faculty and staff at the University of Kansas Medical Center and $5 million to support the Department of Geology at Kansas State University. The Kansas Board of Regents also requested $2.2 million to increase retention and graduation rates at Fort Hays State University, $1.5 million to create a School of Transportation at Pittsburg State University and $500,000 for the Department of Nursing at Emporia State University.

Times Are Tough for Kansas Teachers, But Reports of an Exodus Are Exaggerated

09/19/15 The Kansas City Star
It helps that universities are becoming more “proactive” in recruiting teachers, said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education at Kansas State University. “Historically, many colleges of education felt that if a student wanted to be a teacher, they would come to us,” she said. But now “we are recruiting and advertising.”

Beach Museum Showcases Effort to Bring Art Into Homes

09/19/15 The Topeka Capital-Journal
A new exhibition organized by the Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University provides the first critical overview of Associated American Artists, a company that sought to bring original American art to every home beginning in the 1930s. “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists” will be on view through Jan. 31. The exhibition explores the commercial art enterprise best known for publishing prints by noted Regionalist artists Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood.

Sweeping Study of US Farm Data Shows Loss of Crop Diversity the Past 34 Years

09/15/15 EurekAlert!
U.S. farmers are growing fewer types of crops than they were 34 years ago, which could have implications for how farms fare as changes to the climate evolve, according to a large-scale study by Kansas State University, North Dakota State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Less crop diversity may also be impacting the general ecosystem. "At the national level, crop diversity declined over the period we analyzed," said Jonathan Aguilar, K-State water resources engineer and lead researcher on the study.

From Our Peers

Does the 5-Second Rule Hold Up Scientifically? 

09/15/15 MSN.com
When you drop a piece of food on the floor, is it really okay to eat if you pick up within five seconds? This urban food myth contends that if food spends just a few seconds on the floor, dirt and germs won't have much of a chance to contaminate it. Research in my [Clemson University] lab has focused on how food and food contact surfaces become contaminated, and we've done some work on this particular piece of wisdom.  

Researchers Isolate Possible Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers; Find that Biomarker Loads Can Vary With Disease Stage
09/16/15 Bloomberg
Researchers from North Carolina State University utilized a highly sensitive mass spectrometry analysis to identify and measure difficult-to-detect N-glycan biomarkers associated with ovarian cancers in stages I - IV. In a surprising finding, the researchers determined that the level of biomarkers associated with ovarian cancer does not simply increase or decrease over the course of the disease, but can rise and fall during different stages. These findings have implications for our understanding of, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to, ovarian cancer.
Scientists Urge Ban On Ocean-Polluting Plastic Beads Common In Personal Care Products

09/18/15 Tech Times
"Contaminants like these microbeads are not something our wastewater treatment plants were built to handle, and the overall amount of contamination is huge," says Stephanie Green from Oregon State University, co-author of a study appearing in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Previously Unknown Flea Genus and Species Discovered in Fossilized Dominican Amber

09/15/15 EurekAlert!
Dr. George Poinar, Jr., an entomologist from Oregon State University, has found a fossilized flea the like of which he has never seen. Its basic characteristics are so strange, he says, that it deserves its own genus. And in fact, the name of the genus he has applied to the insect, Atopopsyllus, means "strange flea" in Greek. Dr. Poinar describes the insect, which he believes is 20-30 million years old, in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology.  

Can Cranberries Keep You Healthy? OSU Researchers Have the Answer

09/21/15 NewsOK
Promising new research from Oklahoma State University is finding that a serving of cranberries a day can keep Type 2 diabetes away.

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: 
The U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program offers hands-on exposure to Air Force research challenges through 8- to 12-week research residencies at participating Air Force research facilities for science, mathematics, and engineering faculty. Participants have the opportunity to bring a graduate student with them.
Check out this week's new funding opportunities. 

RSCAD Trending Topics

Blueprint in Hand, NIH Embarks on Study of a Million People

Hoping to avoid the potholes that recently wrecked a similarly ambitious study of children, a panel of human geneticists, medical researchers, and other experts today proposed a blueprint for the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) plan to recruit 1 million Americans for a long-term study of genes and health. The study, which hopes to recruit its first volunteers next year and could last a decade or longer, may become the largest national study of this kind in the world. For NIH Director Francis Collins, the project, known as the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program, brings to fruition an idea he first proposed 11 years ago. “I am so excited to see this dream come to life,” Collins said in a statement released after he accepted the blueprint. “[It] will be a broad, powerful resource for researchers working on a variety of important health questions.” Report: The Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program – Building a Research Foundation for 21st Century Medicine 

British Scientists Seek Permission To Edit DNA In Human Embryos

British scientists announced Friday that they had applied for permission to edit the DNA in human embryos, a controversial step that has provoked intense debate around the world.

Bigger, Not Better?

Most science is collaborative on some level, and an increasing number of colleges and universities and other kinds of institutions are investing in large-scale group science efforts. But are bigger teams really better? A new paper suggests that, when it comes to team science, teams shouldn't get too big, but they should be multinational to have a bigger impact. Growing “team sizes, increasing interdisciplinarity and intensifying ties across institutional and geographic borders demonstrate how scientific research has evolved from a solitary enterprise to an expanding social movement,” argues “Multinational Teams and Diseconomies of Scale in Collaborative Research,” in the current Science Advances.“However, not all large-scale projects have led to the expected paradigm shift or breakthrough in knowledge.”

Research and Markets: Bayer, Elanco, Merck, Merial, Zoetis Dominate the Global Animal Health Market, 2015 Report Says

Market leaders are increasing their investments in R&D for the development of new animal food and health products. Zoetis is focusing on R&D to broaden its product and vaccine ranges for other new species of animals worldwide. Their current R&D facilities are close to manufacturing sites so as to reduce transportation costs and increase production efficiency. Iowa State University and Zoetis signed a collaborative agreement to develop a vaccine for the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the US. These R&D activities help in increasing the products and services in the market, thereby increasing the market size. For instance, Zoetis had about 180 product approvals in 2014, demonstrating a high level of R&D productivity in the market.

Studies on Kissing and the Word ‘Huh?’ Are Among Ig Nobel Award Winners

Researchers who studied the consequences of intense kissing, the global use of the word “huh?” and how badly bee stings hurt on different parts of the body are among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes for comical scientific achievements. The annual prizes, meant to entertain and encourage global research and innovation, are awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research as a whimsical counterpart to the Nobel Prizes, which will be announced next month.