February 25, 2016

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

February 25, 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 iVPR

Interim Captain’s Log: iVPR—date 56. Although battered by the headwinds of national debt, federal agencies continue to advance concept papers and calls for proposals that are in our academic “wheelhouse.” A case in point is the USDA-NIFA initiative that we will be discussing on March 7 at our first Food for Thought event. The goal of the event is to bring members of our campus community together around such RFPs to discuss ways for us to respond to large research project team opportunities. I hope our food with generate a lot of your thoughts about how we can respond to this important RFP on childhood obesity prevention — healthy snacks will be provided.

The note from President Schulz last week about the short-term outlook of the K-State budget did not share great news. Every unit across campus continues to look for efficiencies; yet each callback to meet our financial needs hurts. The OVPR is committed to providing the very best service for grant proposal development and delivery, the safest and most compliant working environments for our researchers, and financial support for seed grants and matching funds whenever possible. We will not make any significant changes to how we do things without engaging the stakeholders in dialog first.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the First Folio exhibition at the Beach Museum of Art, you have just a few days left to view this important set of 18 of Shakespeare’s plays. The Museum theme “Think Anew,” taken from Lincoln’s 2nd annual message to Congress in 1862, asks the K-State community, in my opinion, to develop and embrace new ideas, to take new and bold actions, and to work in new ways for the benefit of our students, staff, and faculty to meet our land-grant mission. I hope a brief, refreshing view of a 1623 publication of literary genius will inspire you.

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” — A. Lincoln

— Peter

Food For Thought

Register to attend our inaugural Food for Thought event on March 7 at 4:00 in the K-State Alumni Center. We’ll use speed networking and structured discussion to explore interdisciplinary team development that can help K-State compete for USDA Challenge Grant funds in the area of childhood obesity prevention. Read more about the opportunity; register by 12 noon March 2.

Last Chance!

Final call: Register for the Regional NEH Application-Writing Workshop to be held March 9, 2016. Registration for one-on-one meetings with the NEH Deputy Director must be made by Friday, February 26, 2016.

Working With Industry

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 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers this Agency’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. The intent of the program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding researchers and educators who effectively integrate teaching, learning, and discovery. Proposals are due in mid-July.

K-State in the News

A Quick Guide to Knowing Your Cold Cuts

2/20/16 MSN.com
With brown bag lunch season in full swing, it's time to sharpen your Dagwood sandwich-making skills. But before you start piling on the cold cuts, you should know what you're buying. We asked Elizabeth Boyle, Ph.D., a professor and meat science specialist at Kansas State University, to give us the rundown on bologna, pastrami and other processed meats. However you slice it, "It's all chemistry," said Boyle.

From Pets to People?

2/16/16 Bloomberg
"It's a wave that's crashing over us and we have to figure out how to adopt test, adopt and safely introduce this into medicine," said Mark Weiss, a professor specializing in stem cell biotechnology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. When it comes to stem cell therapies, he said, "we need to understand how to maximize their efficacy and completely understand their safety profile."

KeyBank Suggests Personal Financial Advice for Newlyweds

2/18/16 Bloomberg
KeyBank has suggested steps to help newlyweds make confident financial decisions, the company said. Research conducted in 2012 at Kansas State University revealed that arguments about money, regardless of couples' income, debts or net worth, is the most significant predictor of divorce.

Teams From Missouri, Kansas Win EPA Grants

2/18/16 SF Gate
The regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday in a release student teams from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri are among the 38 university teams to receive $15,000 grants from the agency's People, Prosperity and the Planet program. The EPA says the University of Kansas team will focus on harvesting wasted heat from LED lights, the Kansas State team is working on air filtration, and the University of Missouri's project involves monitoring water quality at hydraulic fracturing sites.

Kansas State Planning New Veterinary Laboratory on Campus

2/19/16 SF Gate
A proposal to build a new veterinary laboratory at Kansas State Universityis one step closer to reality. The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved the university's proposal for a Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, with an estimated cost of $43.2 million. The project still must be approved the Kansas Legislature.

Yummy or Yucky?

2/17/16 Salina Journal
At face value, emojis — the icons used in text messaging — may seem like a trivial or silly way to express oneself. But sensory analysis researchers at Kansas State University Olathe are conducting studies to see if emojis can help kids articulate feelings about food, in hopes of finding a way to reduce school lunch waste.

From Our Peers

Algorithm Makes Hyperspectral Imaging Faster

2/18/16 Bloomberg
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Delaware have developed an algorithm that can quickly and accurately reconstruct hyperspectral images using less data. The images are created using instruments that capture hyperspectral information succinctly, and the combination of algorithm and hardware makes it possible to acquire hyperspectral images in less time and to store those images using less memory.

The Stunning Difference in How People Treat Female Coders — Once They Find Out They’re Female

2/18/16 Washington Post
To better understand the persistent disparity, the group from California Polytechnic State University and North Carolina State University analyzed the gender dynamics of one of the world's largest open-source communities and discovered a puzzling trend: Programmers were more likely to accept women's codes. The women's acceptance rate dropped, however, if they didn't mask their gender.

Salmon Hatcheries Cause Significant, Rapid Genetic Changes

2/17/16 Breitbart
Differences in survival and reproductive abilities between wild fish and released hatchery fish have long suggested genetic differences, but the latest research — conducted at Oregon State University using steelhead trout — confirms the phenomenon.

Science Briefs: Clemson Biologist Maps 'Secondary Forests' in Central America

2/21/16 Charlotte Observer
Clemson University biologist Saara DeWalt is part of a collaborative study of second-growth tropical forests in Central and South America published in the journal Nature.

Study: Sanctions Boost Foreign Military More Than They Hurt Economy

2/18/16 EurekAlert!
The available evidence indicates that economic sanctions are not effective tools for achieving specific policy goals in foreign nations. New research from North Carolina State University argues that increased military spending caused by economic sanctions counterbalances the adverse impact of the sanctions — and points to Iran as a case study in how this can happen.

RSCAD Trending Topics

Librarians Find Themselves Caught Between Journal Pirates and Publishers

Academics are increasingly turning to websites like Sci-Hub to view subscriber-only articles that they cannot obtain at their college or that they need more quickly than interlibrary loan can provide. That trend puts librarians in an awkward position. While many are proponents of open access and understand the challenges scholars face in gaining access to information, they are also bound by their contracts with publishers, which obligate them to crack down on pirates. And while few, if any, librarians openly endorse piracy, many believe that the scholarly-publishing system is broken.

How Scientific Celebrity Hurts Science

Einstein, the most famous scientific celebrity of them all, once commented that "the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque." And the fact that we have often chosen to distort science in this way is no accident. Science can seem unsettlingly impersonal and amoral, and there is something comforting about imagining the people behind it.

Bill Gates on Getting Billionaires Behind Clean Energy and Bill Gates Talks Climate Peril and Election 2016 (Oh, and Beyoncé)

Investing in creating clean, affordable energy will change the world, Gates says.

Computer Science as Liberal Arts 'Enabler'

Computer science might not be the first field that springs to mind when thinking of the liberal arts, but at some colleges, interdisciplinary computing is seen as one way to connect the department to other disciplines on campus.

Winners and Losers in Shifting Grad Education

Pay for graduate teaching assistants in the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University is among the lowest in the Big Ten — a little less than $14,000 a year, before taxes. So the college’s recent announcement that it’s raising graduate pay to $15,000 or more next year was good news — to some. Others say that while they applaud the college’s attention to an important issue, the modest pay bump doesn’t begin to make up for what Purdue is proposing in exchange: namely, a redistribution of college resources that includes major cuts to some of the largest graduate programs, and future cuts to overall graduate student enrollment.

Now in 3D! Microscope Offers New Way to View Live Cancer Cells

In what could transform the study of cells’ interactions with their environment, researchers have invented a microscope that can look at live cancer cells in 3D, with high resolution in every direction.

Plotting Punctuation

Adam Calhoun, an eclectic neuroscientist at Princeton, found himself drawn to the artist Nicholas Rougeux’s series of posters in the tradition of a particular kind of book art, or the misnamed artist’s book: works of art that use elements of the book as material. I’ve been simultaneously fascinated and disturbed by this trend, which celebrates the wonders of books while sometimes eviscerating them of their literary significance. But while Rougeux’s posters, using Project Gutenberg, achieve “an exploration of visual rhythm of punctuation in well-known literary works” by making coils of punctuation marks, Calhoun wanted something more revealing about the works themselves. He ran out pages of punctuation, then set about comparing works in English from across time and cultures. Some of the results are unsurprising. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is awash in semicolons; Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian contains almost none. Other results are more subtle than they first appear. Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom, for instance, contains longer sentences on average than any of the other works Calhoun studied. But when broken down into clauses — determined, perhaps unjustifiably, by “words between punctuation marks” — Calhoun says, “Faulkner is not that much of an outlier.”

NIH Uses Photon-Counting CT Scanner in Patients for the First Time

The Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health is investigating the potential use of a new generation of a computerized tomography (CT) scanner, called a photon-counting detector CT scanner, in a clinical setting. The prototype technology is expected to replicate the image quality of conventional CT scanning, but may also provide health care specialists with an enhanced look inside the body through multi-energy imaging.