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Research

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

January 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

Second-quarter award results are posted!
Intense proposal activity from 2015 is carrying over into 2016. For the first six months of fiscal year 2016, faculty submitted 1007 proposals for $240,924,713. In the same period in 2015, faculty submitted 809 proposals for $98,588,997. Congratulations to our amazingly productive RSCAD faculty!
Interested in crowdfunding your research? PreAwards can help! Read about a faculty member in Human Ecology who recently obtained funding for a local applied research project.
Check the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Events Calendar for classes, workshops, and info sessions that will help you compete for funding opportunities.  

K-State in the News

Kansas State Professor's Performance Nominated for a Grammy

1/24/16 SF Gate (and many other sources)
A Kansas State University professor has been nominated for two Grammy awards for his solo performance on an album with the Kansas City Chorale. Bryan Pinkall, assistant professor of music, and the Kansas City Chorale were nominated in the categories of Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album for their album "Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil."

Breaking Down a Trump Speech: His Words Show the Power of a New Politics

1/20/16 Kansas City Star 
Trump talks about building a movement, but he rejects the concept of social movement building as a process. He hasn't built anything unless he wins. — Suzanne Orr, a Kansas State University history professor.

Describe Your Coffee With Science

1/25/16 Smithsonian.com
Is that a tobbaco-like note in your coffee? Or perhaps it tastes a bit like malt, peapods, acetic acid or molasses. No matter what your coffee tastes like, that flavor was imparted by a coffee roaster and verified by a taster—and now, roasters have teamed with sensory scientists to create an updated way to characterize how coffee tastes. It’s called the Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, and it’s the brainchild of coffee researchers and the Specialty Coffee Association of America, which announced the new wheel this week. The wheel is similar to the aroma wheels used by oenophiles to describe the fragrances of wine. Like wine, coffee beans reflect a particular “terroir,” or aspects of growing climate, and the ways in which they are roasted can bring out different flavor profiles ranging from bitter to sweet. ... More science went into the updated wheel than you might think. Sensory scientists at Kansas State University created something called the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon, a kind of dictionary of the many different attributes of a cup of joe.

10 Simple Ways to Continue Your New Year Resolutions

1/26/16 Independent.ie
According to Emily Mailey, a professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University, to be successful in your goals, it's important to have internal motivation. "Think about your reasons for setting your goal," she said. "Internal motivators, such as wanting to feel better or have more energy, are the ones that are more sustainable because they align with more people's personal goals and values and don't make working out feel like a chore. If you are motivated by these internal motivators, then you can focus on these immediate positive benefits of exercise, rather than the long-term goal of losing weight. As an example, a study by Johns Hopkins University found that women who tried to lose weight because they felt pressured to do so by their doctor had very little success.

NSF CAREER Award Supports Researcher's Cyber-Physical Systems Work

1/25/16 EurekAlert!
The National Science Foundation has issued a CAREER award to a Kansas State University computing and information sciences researcher for her work that can develop better transportation, health care and energy systems. Pavithra Prabhakar, assistant professor of computing and information sciences, has received a five-year $446,000 CAREER award for her project "Robust Verification of Cyber-Physical Systems."

From Our Peers

This New Study About Creepy Crawlies Living In Your Home May Freak You Out

1/19/16 Huffington Post (and many other sources)
The researchers surveyed 50 homes from May to October in 2012 and collected all of the arthropods that they could find, dead or alive. Each house averaged around 100 species, Scientific American reported, the most common being ants, carpet beetles, cellar spiders and cobweb spiders. "Nobody had done an exhaustive inventory like this one, and we found that our homes host far more biodiversity than most people would expect," Dr. Matt Bertone, an entomologist at North Carolina State University and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Grant Awarded for Innovation in U.S. Textile Manufacturing

1/21/16 Bloomberg
The Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors today announced this year's U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients at the 84th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. [Recipients include] Clemson University for energy and effluent reduction through innovative dyeing of polyester fabrics, Oregon State University for environmentally conscious dyeing of fabrics using continuous digital printing and drying of biopigment inks, [and] North Carolina State University for developing a non-stop tying-in process/approach to improve weaving efficiency.

Molecular-like Photochemistry from Semiconductor Nanocrystals

1/22/16 Bloomberg
Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated the transfer of triplet exciton energy from semiconductor nanocrystals to surface-bound molecular acceptors, extending the lifetime of the originally prepared excited state by six orders of magnitude. This finding has implications for fields ranging from solar energy conversion to photochemical synthesis to optoelectronics to light therapy for cancer treatment.

New Light Shed on Structure of Gold Nanoparticles in Water

1/19/16 Science Daily
Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and Colorado State University, USA, have for the first time ever determined the dynamical behaviour of the ligand layer of a water-soluble gold nanocluster in solution. The breakthrough opens a way towards controllable strategies for the functionalisation of ligated nanoparticles for applications. The work at the University of Jyväskylä was supported by the Academy of Finland. The research was published in Nature Communications on 21 January 2016.

Presentation and Selection in Food Pantries

1/21/16 EurekAlert!
Can adjustments in the presentation of food make a difference in the choices, especially among people living in poverty? Are clients at food pantries likely to make the healthiest food choices? New research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests that food pantry clients deal with a number factors that can lead to a less healthy choice and that simple adjustments in the pantry set-up may help increase healthy choices. The study's researcher, Norbert Wilson professor at Auburn University in Alabama spent over a year visiting food pantries in Alabama and New York. He developed the paper based on marketing research and conversations and observations in food pantries that support the findings of this review study.

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’s (NSF’s) Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) seeks research to develop and deploy security solutions that benefit the scientific community by ensuring the integrity and reliability of the end-to-end scientific workflow. This solicitation seeks unique ways to protect scientific instruments, resources, cyberinfrastructure and data that extend beyond building better perimeters and point solutions.

RSCAD Trending Topics

Following the Omnibus, Most Science Agencies Are At (Or Near) Pre-Sequestration Funding

The past few years have doubtlessly been tough ones for science agency budgets. Even with multiple adjustments by Congress, the spending caps under the Budget Control Act and the FY 2013 sequestration have meant billions in lost funding since FY 2012. But the prior two appropriations cycles have offered a nascent funding recovery, and the recent omnibus package provided another strong boost. That means at least one piece of welcome news: in FY 2016, many science agencies will now find themselves back at pre-sequestration budget levels, even adjusting for inflation.

Fairy Tales Could Be Older Than You Ever Imagined

A few hundred years ago, fairy tale auteurs like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault helped bring magical tales of princesses, evil ogres, dark forests, weird spells and thwarted love into the storybooks—and to the bedsides—of children, everywhere. But how old are the tales they transcribed? A new study suggests that their origins go all the way back to prehistory.

Transparency has hit the headlines. In the wake of evidence that many research findings are not reproducible, the scientific community has launched initiatives to increase data sharing, transparency and open critique. As with any new development, there are unintended consequences. Many measures that can improve science — shared data, post-publication peer review and public engagement on social media — can be turned against scientists.

Zika Virus Will Spread Through The Americas, Health Group Says
The World Health Organization says it expects the Zika virus to spread to every country in the Western Hemisphere except Canada.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Will Not Tolerate Harassment at Grantee Institutions

The National Science Foundation (NSF) joins with other leading U.S. scientific organizations to emphasize its strong commitment to preventing harassment and to eradicate gender-based discrimination in science. In light of recent, multiple reports of sexual harassment in science, NSF reiterates its unwavering dedication to inclusive workplaces. NSF does not tolerate sexual harassment and encourages members of the scientific community who experience such harassment to report such behavior immediately.

Editing Policy to Fit the Genome?

Balancing therapeutic prospects brought by scientific advances with regulation to address highly contested socioethical issues is the ultimate challenge in dealing with disruptive science. Human genome editing is a powerful tool that offers great scientific and therapeutic potential. Yet, it rejuvenates socioethical and policy questions surrounding the acceptability of germline modification.

Is University Research Missing What Matters Most? (subscribers only)

As a nation, we’re getting good at turning professors’ work into marketable products. But is that enough for some of our society’s biggest problems?