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Research

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

April 28, 2016

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

Announcements from the Office of the Vice President for Research

Notes from the Desk of the VPR

Do you remember the final scene from the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” (spoiler alert) where the ark was boxed up and placed into a cavernous government warehouse for safe-keeping? Prior to 1980, that’s essentially how the government managed intellectual property developed at universities using federal grant funds — more that 28,000 patents were held in storage. Until the Bayh-Dole Act, the federal government was given ownership of any IP it funded. It took a few faculty at Purdue University to shed light on how we were losing out on the creative power of our faculty — they peered into the warehouse, saw a better way, and worked to change the law.

We faculty now have the opportunity and the responsibility to manage what we create and discover. Through the K-State Research Foundation, faculty, staff, and students may disclose, protect, and patent their intellectual property. This past week, we hosted a brown bag forum for graduate students and postdocs to learn about patents and IP management, along with careers in IP management. Tuesday evening, we celebrated the accomplishments of 19 K-Staters who were awarded 11 patents in 2015, and we inducted them into the National Academy of Inventors. Unfortunately, the ceremony was cut short by a tornado warning.

My pledge to the campus community is to help make the IP management process easy and productive for everyone involved. I am working with our staff, KSURF, the K-State Institute for Commercialization, and the Office of Corporate Engagement to enhance how we educate people about and execute our IP strategies, and I invite you to help us improve our processes. We have so much to offer the world!

Since 1980, U.S. universities have created more than 7,000 new companies, 300,000 new jobs, created over $190 billion in GDP, and brought more than 150 new drugs and vaccines to the market, just to name a few of the over 5,000 successful products to emerge from academic creative endeavors. K-State has a tradition of being part of this enterprise, supporting RSCAD endeavors on and off campus, and we will continue to have an impact.

— Peter

Introducing Seek, K-State's New RSCAD Magazine

We're proud to announce Seek, K-State's flagship magazine showcasing our wide range of RSCAD. The magazine is available as PDFs through New Prairie Press at the K-State Libraries. A web version also will be available soon. Take a look!    

Global Food Systems Faculty Presentations

Lead investigators from teams awarded Global Food Systems Innovation Grants in April 2015 will present research results in micro talks on Wednesday, May 11, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Beach Museum of Art UMB Theater. All are invited to attend. Grad student and postdoctoral research presentations are TODAY at 2:00 p.m.   

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 National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced FY2016 and FY2017 supplemental funding to existing research awards for supporting science and engineering doctoral students so that they can acquire the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for highly productive careers, inside and outside of academe. The requirements and due dates for each NSF directorate are listed in this Dear Colleague letter

K-State in the News

10 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
4/19/16 Yahoo! Finance
“The nutrients, protective effects, and satiety that we get from fruits and vegetables are unparalleled,” says Sandra Procter, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor in the department of food, nutrition, dietetics, and health at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
Is Cholesterol in Food Okay?
4/22/16 Yahoo! Finance 
And by setting limits on certain high-cholesterol foods, people could potentially miss out on some important nutrients, says Sandra Procter, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor in the department of food, nutrition, dietetics, and health at Kansas State University in Manhattan. “Eggs contain lutein and choline, which are very important nutrients for eye and pregnancy health,” she says.
Physical and Mental Benefits of Gardening

4/22/16 Huffington Post
The other beauty about gardening on a small or a large scale is that it can be done by people almost any age or ability. Similar to caring for a goldfish, caring for a plant can teach a young child responsibility (as well as a bit about science, nature, and nutrition, if the plant is also a food). Researchers at Kansas State University say that through gardening, older adults can gain hand strength, boost their self esteem, and aid in stroke rehabilitation and recovery.

How and Why Single Cell Organisms Evolved Into Multicellular Life

4/25/16 Science Daily 
This microscopic organism is helping to fill the evolutionary gap in our understanding. The two year research project was a global collaboration between Kansas State University, Universities of Arizona and Tokyo, and Wits University. It is documented in the journal Nature Communications.

Wildfire Effects on Various Grasses

4/20/16 High Plains Journal
Walter Fick, professor in Kansas State University’s Department of Agronomy, said it’s hard to lump all the wildfires together and how pastures might respond. Each fire could have somewhat different effects.

From Our Peers

The Arctic is Melting — and Scientists Just Lost a Key Tool to Observe It

4/25/16 The Washington Post
It’s not just sea ice data that would suffer, either. The DMSP satellites have also been useful for other climate-related data collection, such as the monitoring of precipitation and wind speeds, said Wesley Berg, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University, who’s also closely involved with NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission.

Drones are Helping Scientists Find Biofuel-Producing Plants

4/25/16 Yahoo!
“The big picture goal is to get a big increase in the yield for this bioenergy sorghum,” says Near Earth Autonomy engineer Paul Bartlett. An increase in crop yield “could really make [sorghum] a sustainable bioenergy source.” Near Earth is working with Clemson University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center on this project.

'Good Cop' Parent Not Enough to Buffer Some Harmful Effects of ‘Bad Cop’ Parent

4/19/16 Science Daily 
Thomas Schofield, lead author and an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, says the results lead to more questions than answers. He and his colleagues at the University of California-Davis and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the link from harsh parenting to physical health is buffered by a warm and nurturing coparent.

In Gaming, Player Behavior Reflects Roles, Even When No Roles Are Given
4/20/16 Science Daily
New research from North Carolina State University finds that player behavior in narrative role-playing games (RPGs) reflects specific character roles — even if the game tells players nothing about the character's role. The finding is relevant to both game designers and gaming researchers who study player behavior in RPGs.
Framing Discourse Around Conservative Values Shifts Climate Change Attitudes
4/25/16 Science Daily 
Conservatives' attitudes toward climate change and other environmental concerns shift when the issues are reframed in terms more closely aligned with their values, a new study from Oregon State University indicates. Researchers found that people who identified as conservative were more likely to support "pro-environmental" ideals when the issues were framed as matters of obeying authority, defending the purity of nature and demonstrating patriotism.

RSCAD Trending Topics

Zika Virus Complicates Crusade Against Research on Fetal Tissue

A high-profile congressional campaign against the use of fetal tissue in medical research is hitting a tough-to-ignore obstacle in the shape of the Zika virus, now blamed for thousands of birth defects in South America.

Of Course Congress Is Clueless About Tech — It Killed Its Tutor

US lawmakers once had a body of independent technical and scientific experts at their disposal who were the envy of other nations: the Office of Technology Assessment. That is, until the OTA got axed unceremoniously two decades ago in a round of budget cuts. Now, when lawmakers most need independent experts to guide them through the morass of technical details in our increasingly connected world, they have to rely on the often-biased advice of witnesses at committee hearings—sometimes chosen simply for their geographical proximity to Washington DC or a lawmaker’s home district.

Same Bottom Line Hides Sharp Disagreement in Congress Over Energy Research

Legislators in both houses of Congress agree that science at the Department of Energy (DOE) should get a slight boost—0.9%—next year. But how they get to that number is quite another story.

University Research Brings the Local Closer to the Global

Universities traditionally measure their impact on entrepreneurship locally. At last month’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), Bill Aulet from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reminded us that in a world where national boundaries are porous to both innovation and knowledge creation, assessing our impact globally can be a strong driver of collective performance improvement.

Problematic Images Found in 4% of Biomedical Papers

Around 1 out of every 25 biomedical papers contains inappropriately duplicated images, a huge analysis of 20,621 research articles suggests. The finding has prompted renewed calls for research journals to routinely check images in accepted papers before they publish them.

All Rights Reserved 

A group of editors and academics are criticizing how the rights to Aaron Swartz’s writings are being handled, saying it violates the activist and programmer’s open-access legacy. Swartz, whose abbreviated résumé included work on projects that supported the free flow of information, took his own life in 2013. Swartz was in 2011 discovered connecting to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s network to download millions of scholarly articles from the database JSTOR. After being indicted on felony fraud charges carrying a prison sentence of up to 35 years, Swartz hanged himself.

New Stanford Center Offers Insight Into the Evolution of Scientific Cartography 
The new David Rumsey Map Center, which opened last week at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, showcases what was once one of the world’s great private map collections—more than 150,000 maps, globes, and cartographic artifacts. The collection is especially rich with 18th and 19th century maps that illustrate the birth of scientific cartography. The new center, located within Stanford Libraries, aims to break down the paper-digital divide. Anyone with a scholarly interest in the maps can request an original paper map and use a variety of digital displays—including a 3.6-by-2–meter touchscreen—to blow up the details or layer on other historical maps or modern satellite imagery.