February 4, 2016

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

February 4, 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

Internal Grant Programs

Kansas State University faculty members ranked assistant professor and above and with some percentage of their appointments devoted to research are invited to apply for Faculty Development Awards and University Small Research Grants. Applications are due March 7. Information sessions will be held February 10 (3:30 p.m., 201 Leadership Studies) and February 22 (3:30 p.m., Alumni Center Lecture Room).

Research Showcase

Don’t miss an opportunity to participate in the K-State Research Showcase on March 22. Read more about the event.

Learn more about the Fulbright Scholar Program

Interested in Fulbright opportunities? These webinars can help answer your questions.

See Trending Topics below for important information about NSF and NIH requirements.

K-State in the News

Egypt Ban on Hallucinogenic Wheat Fungus Seen as Unrealistic

1/27/16 Bloomberg
“The problem with zero tolerance is that it is so absolute and can be a bit arbitrary,” said Jay O’Neill, senior agricultural economist for the International Grains Program at Kansas State University. “It could be possible to test numerous times for ergot and not find it and then test the next cargo and find it.”

Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks Cause More Illnesses, Deaths

1/30/16 Bloomberg
Ensuring food is safe is a complicated process that involves coordination between businesses, state and federal government agencies and consumers, said Fadi Aramouni, a professor of food science at Kansas State University. Companies like Dole have procedures and tools in place to prevent an outbreak, he said, but there's no perfect solution. "It's a combination of everyone, even the consumer," Aramouni said. " I don't think any of them will give you a 100-percent guarantee that the product will be perfectly safe to eat. There's really no silver bullet other than in cooked products, the heating step."

For Those Threatened by Zika, Vaccines May Not Come Soon Enough

1/31/16 Bloomberg (NOTE: Media mentions of Dr. Higgs were numerous. Others include National Geographic and KSNT.)
“Even if you can develop it overnight, the approval process is very long, and of course we have seen all of these issues with Zika in pregnancy that we have not seen before,” said Stephen Higgs, president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the director of the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. “So these vaccines have to be proven to be safe and effective in pregnancy.”

Kansas State University to help Agar Farmers Produce Soya and Millet Food Products

1/28/16 The Times of India
Kansas State University based in United States of America [is] to teach about 5000 farmers in Agar district, about soya and millet mixed baby food production. This will also be followed by research on difference in crops by using different old and new variety of seeds side by side."This will help farmers to get the new options opened up for them and gain benefit from soy crops. This baby food about which we are talking can also be used in mid day meals for students in schools here. They are so rich in carbohydrates and protein," told Dr. Sajid Alavi, Professor, Kansas State University USA.

Teens Aren't Ruining Language

1/27/16 The Atlantic
As language evolves and new terms enter the mainstream, teenagers are often blamed for debasing linguistic standards. In some cases, their preferred forms of communication—like text messaging—are attacked. But, teens don’t actually influence language as much as is often claimed. That’s one of the key findings in the latest linguistic research by Mary Kohn, an assistant professor of English at Kansas State University. How much a person’s vernacular changes over time may have as much to do with personality and social standing as it has to do with age. The extent to which teenagers are credited with (or blamed for) driving lasting change to language is, she says, “grossly overstated.” The same factors that prompt teens to experiment with new language are applicable to people at many stages of life.

Westar Energy Gets Rule Exemption to Use 2 Drones

1/31/16 SF Gate
Westar Energy is set to deploy drones to help the electric company perform a variety of tasks like pinpointing storm damage and inspecting wind turbine blades. ... Westar has been working with Kansas State University since 2013 to develop its unmanned aerial program.

From Our Peers

OSU Receives Grant to Develop Enviromentally Friendly Process to Dye Fabric

1/26/16 Bloomberg
Oregon State University has received an $810,000 research grant to develop a more environmentally friendly process for dyeing fabric that it says could create a financial incentive to shift some textile manufacturing and jobs from overseas to the United States.

Thirteen Land-Grant Institutions Advance Fight Against Mycobacterial Diseases

1/27/16 Bloomberg
Thirteen land-grant institutions and partner organizations are working across state lines to develop and enhance tools needed to limit the spread of Johne's disease (JD) and bovine tuberculosis complex (TB) in livestock. JD and TB are two of the most widespread mycobacterial diseases in the US. ... The participating land-grant institutions include: ... Colorado State University.

The New Walmart Effect: Store Closures Are Leaving Food Deserts in Their Wake

1/31/16 Yahoo!
Research conducted at Iowa State University in the 1990s found that, after Walmart opened in a town, sales at specialty stores—sporting goods, jewelry, and gift shops—dropped by 17 percent within 10 years; in neighboring towns with less than 5,000 people and no Walmart, specialty store sales dropped by 28 percent within a decade. For clothing stores, sales dropped by 28 percent in Walmart and non-Walmart towns alike. And some stores simply were no longer around a decade later.

The Winter Blues Aren't Real: Study

2/01/16 MSN.com
Is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a valid construct? Not according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, which builds upon the doubt that's been cast on the SAD theory in recent years. ... So researchers from Auburn University at Montgomery ... aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the disorder.

Engineer Models Heart Valves, Wind Turbines for Better Designs, Performance

1/26/16 Science Daily
Three thin leaflets blew open and blood blasted through an artificial heart valve, the center stream firing reds and yellows, the colors indicating a flow speed up to 125 centimeters per second. When the leaflets slammed shut, the flow turned to light blue eddies, indicating blood flow had nearly stopped. And then Ming-Chen Hsu, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, searched his computer for another video and clicked play. This time the tip of a wind turbine blade appeared on his monitor, constantly moving, flexing and vibrating as the blade rotated around the rotor hub. Red indicated air moving at a relative speed of 52 meters per second over the top of the blade; blue and green marked the slower air around the blade. These are computer models featuring technologies called computational mechanics, fluid-structure interaction and isogeometric analysis.

Early Puberty Associated with Gestational Diabetes

1/26/16 Science Daily
"This new finding could mean that doctors will begin asking women when they had their first period to determine their risk of developing gestational diabetes. They may represent a high-risk population and should be targeted for prevention programs," said the study's lead author, Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor in public health sciences at Clemson 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.

Highlight from this week's Funding Connection: The National Science Foundation ’s Energy for Sustainability program seeks fundamental engineering research that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and fuels. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.

RSCAD Trending Topics

U.K. Researcher Receives Permission to Edit Genes in Human Embryos

Developmental biologist Kathy Niakan has received permission from U.K authorities to modify human embryos using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. Niakan, who works at the Francis Crick Institute in London, applied for permission to use the technique in studies to better understand the role of key genes during the first few days of human embryo development.

Who Should Pay for the Arts in America?

Large, mainstream arts institutions, founded to serve the public good and assigned non-profit status to do so, have come to resemble exclusive country clubs. Meanwhile, outside their walls, a dynamic new generation of artists, and the diverse communities where they live and work, are being systematically denied access to resources and cultural legitimation. Fifty years ago, the National Endowment for the Arts was created to address just such inequity.

The World Health Organization designated the Zika virus and its suspected complications in newborns as a public health emergency of international concern Monday. The action, which the international body has taken only three times before, paves the way for the mobilization of more funding and manpower to fight the mosquito-born pathogen spreading "explosively" through the Americas.

White House Proposes $1 Billion for Cancer 'Moonshot'

The White House will propose spending close to $1 billion over the next two years on a "moonshot" to fight cancer, officials said Monday.

Meeting NSF's Technical Reporting Requirements

PIs must use Research.gov to meet all NSF technical reporting requirements, including submission of annual, final, and project outcomes reports. ... NSF requires that all Principal Investigators (PIs) submit annual reports during the course of an award and a final report no later than 120 days following expiration of an award. Each report is reviewed by the award's managing Program Officer; the reporting requirement is met only after the Program Officer has reviewed and approved the report. NSF also requires that PIs submit a non-technical, Project Outcomes Report (POR), for the general public 120 days following expiration of an award. This report is submitted and posted on the Research.gov website exactly as submitted, without review by a Program Officer. Its intended audience includes the general public, journalists, Congress and its staffers.

NIH News

A series of posts on the NIH "Open Mike" blog are relevant to K-State researchers:

  • Updates on Addressing Rigor in Your NIH Applications
  • NIH Budget Highlights for 2016, Scientific Premise in NIH Grant Applications
  • Scientific Rigor in NIH Grant Applications
  • Consideration of Relevant Biological Variables in NIH Grant Applications
  • Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources in NIH Grant Applications

More from NIH:

Conference Opportunity

21st Century Research: What You Need to Know About Vulnerable Populations, Emerging Designs, Technology, and More
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) 2016 Research Community Forum, April 6-7, 2016, Miami