September 15, 2016

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

September 15, 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

Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Find out about upcoming limited submission funding opportunities and our process for reviewing and selecting proposals. A new web page lists specific opportunities, due dates, and selected submitters.

Check Out the Sony Research Award Program

Sony's program funds Faculty Innovation Awards for up to $100K and Focus Research Awards for up to $150K. Find the details. If you are interested in applying to this program, work with your college staff and/or PreAward Services to complete the submission. The deadline is September 30.

Award Reports

A full report of fiscal year 2016 extramural funding awards is posted. View individual months or the full year's report for any year from 2001 through 2016. Full reports are also available for 1995-2000.

Celebrate Postdocs

Register to attend National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week NEXT WEEK, September 19-23.


Did you miss last week's Faculty Development Award and University Small Research Grant information session? If so, never fear: Another session is slated for September 20 at 3:30 in Union 207. View the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs events calendar for more workshop and info session opportunities.

Diversity Research

This year’s K-State Diversity Summit will include a research forum sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of Assessment, the Office of Diversity, and the Teaching and Learning Center. A wide range of projects and topics are welcome; proposals are due October 3. Read more.

Research Photos and Videos

When we take photos and video in labs, shops, or other research environments, we are showing the outside world how we conduct our work. Adhering to all safety policies and best practices is crucial, so please review and follow these guidelines.

New Funding Opportunities

The Funding Connection

The Funding Connection is a weekly publication of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. For more information about individual programs and for applications, please e-mail or call 785 532-6195.

Highlight from this week's Funding Connection: The Spencer Foundation’s Small Research Grants Program supports education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. In keeping with the Spencer Foundation’s mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. Historically, the projects funded through these grants have spanned a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and projects have employed a wide range of research methods.

K-State in the News

Conway, Roberts: Access to Credit Key During Farm Downturn

9/12/16 Politico
Farmers and ranchers trying to withstand falling income as a result of low commodity prices increasingly need access to loans to help finance their operations through the lean times — something both Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Mike Conaway are concerned about. During an hour-long agriculture forum at the Kansas State Fair on Saturday, the chairmen of the Senate and House agriculture committees expressed frustration over the declining number of community banks across the U.S., which tend to make lending decisions based on bankers’ relationships with local businesses and families. As financial institutions merge and increase in size, they tend to “come in and out of industries,” Allen Featherstone, head of Kansas State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said during the panel. So when farmers are doing well, there is a lot of interest in lending, he explained, but when income sinks, those institutions shy away.

Antivirals Could Limit Outbreaks In Crowded Places Like Schools, Cruise Ships

9/12/16 Breitbart, EurekAlert!, and others
New developments in antiviral drug research may lead to compounds that can either quickly stem an outbreak in a crowded place or prevent one entirely. Researchers at Kansas State University and Wichita State University report they have developed broad-spectrum antiviral compounds that could help stop the spread of common viruses such as noroviruses and rhinoviruses. The common pathogens often cause outbreaks in small, crowded spaces such as schools, restaurants or cruise ships similar to the outbreak of “vomiting disease” late last year in California. “Antivirals are therapeutic tools, but you could also use them as a preventative measure if you expect to come into contact or if you are recently exposed to viruses, especially if you belong to high-risk groups because of pre-existing health concerns,” Yunjeong Kim, an associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University, said in a press release. “That way, when you are exposed, you can have the antiviral in your system already.”

Farm Scientists See Ripening Opportunity for Greater Federal Support

9/13/16 Chronicle of Higher Education
New technologies in genomics and computerization make agricultural research "a field that is uniquely poised to take off, given the opportunity by the federal government," said Tim Fink, director of research and policy analysis at the Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation, a coalition of industry and university advocates. His foundation keeps a list of university-based scientists with projects and ideas awaiting more robust federal support. They include Jason Woodworth, a research associate professor in animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, who helped stop a diarrhea virus in pigs that caused at least $900 million in economic losses in 2014.

So Many Choices: Small Grain Options for Winter Pasture

9/12/16 The Eagle
In the last issue of the Land & Livestock Post, we discussed using annual ryegrass and a legume for winter pasture. At the time, day temperature was continuously 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Now, as we talk about small grains for winter pasture, the temperature is at least back in the 80s to low 90s. Oats and wheat are the two common small grains used for winter pasture in our area, often because that is what Daddy always planted. Have we ever compared performance of oats and wheat? Have we considered a different small grain? In this article, we present information on several options to give you an opportunity to determine if you can obtain better production from a different crop “Since winter triticale can overwinter, fall-planted triticale can be grazed in the fall and/or the following spring,” said Doo-Hong Min of Kansas State University. “Since triticale has similar traits to wheat, planting dates are similar to wheat. However, if winter triticale is grazed in fall through early winter, it should be planted about a month earlier than wheat.

Study Finds Optimal Seeding Depends Mostly on Yield Environment

9/12/16 AgPro
One of the most important economic decisions corn producers make every year involves choosing the right seeding rate. The answer often varies from field to field, and among different hybrids. Seeding rate decisions not only affect upfront production costs but also the final yield, said Ignacio Ciampitti, assistant professor of agronomy at Kansas State University. “Decisions on hybrid placement field-by-field and seeding rate go together,” said Paul Carter, senior agronomy sciences manager with DuPont Pioneer. “Corn hybrids stress tolerance has improved with time and matching improving hybrid genetics with appropriate seeding rates is key to capturing the full benefit of genetic gain.”

From Our Peers

Boeing Is Making a Major Change To Its Planes That Could End Jet Lag As We Know It

9/11/16 MSN
One of which was the decision to build much of the plane out of carbon fiber reinforced plastics and other composite materials instead of the aluminum most commonly used on commercial airliners. While the engineering of the composite airframe may have been a challenge, it's a decision that allowed Boeing to make a major change to its aircraft that could greatly reduce the effect of jet lag on its passengers. In a study conducted by Oklahoma State University with the help of Boeing, researchers wrote: "Some passengers on long commercial flights experience discomfort characterized by symptoms similar to those of acute mountain sickness. The symptoms are often attributed to factors such as jet lag, prolonged sitting, dehydration, or contamination of cabin air. However, because barometric pressures in aircraft cabins are similar to those at the terrestrial altitudes at which acute mountain sickness occurs, it is possible that some of the symptoms are related to the decreased partial pressure of oxygen and are manifestations of acute mountain sickness." The study found that passengers who go from sea level up to 8,000 ft. of altitude saw the oxygen content in their blood fall 4%. Although this didn't trigger full on acute mountain sickness, it did bring on what the study called "increased prevalence of discomfort after three to nine hours" of exposure.

Mango and the Microbiota: New Research Reveals Potential Role of This Superfruit in Maintaining Gut Health

9/7/16 Yahoo! Finance
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition has for the first time documented the potential effects of mango consumption on gut microbiota of mice.1 When samples were compared from the beginning to the end of the study period, mango supplementation was found to prevent the loss of beneficial gut bacteria often induced by a high-fat diet. This is an important finding as specific bacteria in the intestinal tract may play a role in obesity and obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes. "Fiber and other bioactive compounds in plant-based foods are suggested to prevent gut dysbiosis caused by a high-fat diet," said Edralin A. Lucas, Ph.D., professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University and lead researcher of the study. "Mango is a good source of fiber and has been reported in previous studies to have anti-obesogenic, hypoglycemic and immunomodulatory properties. The results of this animal study showed that adding mango to the diet may help maintain and regulate gut health and levels of beneficial bacteria levels. Further research is necessary to see if these study results can be replicated in humans."

Do You Have a Negative Attitude About Aging?

9/6/16 Huffington Post
Everyone reacts differently to stressful events, but new research, published last week in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, shows that our outlook on aging could affect how we deal with the stress of daily life. Past research on how older adults react to stress has produced a mixed bag of results, according to Jennifer Bellingtier, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University, and lead author on the new study. Some studies show that older individuals handle stress better compared to their younger peers, while others find older adults are worse off. Some show that both groups fare about the same. “We thought aging attitudes could be a factor that explains why these results are all over the place,” Bellingtier says. “The research base is definitely building that it’s important to have positive attitudes toward aging,” she explains. Adults who hold a more negative view of aging report lower levels of life satisfaction, well-being, and social supports, and they’re more likely to be hospitalized or to die young.

We Might Be Able to Actually Taste the Starch Molecules in Our Delicious Carbs

9/8/16 BuzzFeed
According to a new study, we can detect a starchy taste in the bits of matter our saliva breaks carbs down into. We’re talking molecules. To understand how researchers from Oregon State University in Corvallis conducted the study and what it found, BuzzFeed Health reached out to lead researcher Juyun Lim, associate professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology. Lim says that when you eat a complex carb like pasta or rice or bread, enzymes in your saliva break the food down into shorter and shorter chains of molecules. The carbs first get broken down into molecules called glucose polymers and further into even smaller molecules called glucose oligomers. And, apparently, we can actually taste those molecules!

What Are the Long-Term Health Effects of Living in Space? NASA is Studying Twins Mark and Scott Kelly to Find Out

9/7/16 LA Times
Dr. Francine Garrett-Bakelman arrived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the middle of the night, ready to get her hands on Scott Kelly’s blood. She watched on a laptop as the astronaut stepped off a plane March 2 about 1:30 a.m., back in Houston after his record 340 days aboard the International Space Station. Then, in a nearby molecular biology lab, she set the centrifuge to the right temperature and looked over her pre-labeled test tubes. The blood work is part of the NASA Twins Study, an ambitious research project that explores the long-term health effects of living in space. “You say, ‘Oh, it’s just a blood draw,’ but even just a blood draw is not a simple thing when you’re operating on the space station,” said Susan Bailey, a radiation biologist at Colorado State University who is studying the twins’ telomeres for signs of accelerated aging.

RSCAD Trending Topics

Farm Scientists See Ripening Opportunity for Greater Federal Support

Finding the right mix of government-funded basic science and industry-financed applied science has long been a challenge in a variety of subject areas. Now, as Congress debates the federal budget for the 2017 fiscal year, farm interests are determined to correct an imbalance in their world that they see as increasingly untenable.

GradHacker: Asking Questions to Improve Research Strategy

When we start a project, it’s easy to get caught up in the trenches: we must figure out what types of literature to read, organize the types of experiments we want to run, determine which hypotheses to evaluate, and so on. However, even when we do this, there are key ways in which we can miss some of the higher-level goals in doing good, graduate research.

Bill Gates is betting big on a technology that could make mosquitoes extinct

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to double the sum it is spending to create a mosquito-killing technology that relies on CRISPR gene editing. The technique, called a gene drive, is a way to spread traits through wild populations of animals, but its ability to alter nature is drawing opposition from some environmental groups. The Gates-funded project, called Target Malaria, is based at Imperial College, London, and has been seeking to add instructions to the DNA of malaria mosquitoes that would cause them to become sterile.

The Fascinating World of Unconscious Bias and Development Policy

In the last few decades, groundbreaking work by psychologists and behavioural economists has exposed unconscious biases in the way we think. And as the World Bank’s 2015 World Development Report points out, development professionals are not immune to these biases. There is a real possibility that seemingly unbiased and well-intentioned development professionals are capable of making consequential mistakes, with significant impacts upon the lives of others, namely the poor. The problem arises when mindsets are just that – set.

A Map To Help Cancer Doctors Find Their Way

A mapping program, called PiCnIc for short, aims to help physicians in staying a step ahead of cancer and preparing long-term treatment plans with fewer elements of surprise.

NASA Seeks Voluteers for Review Panels

To increase the pool of un-conflicted reviewers we are seeking subject matter experts to serve as mail-in reviewers of proposals and/or in-person reviewers to engage in discussions at a face-to-face panel meeting. New researchers (including post doctoral fellows) are welcome to apply as they provide fresh insight from people close to the most current research. Just follow the links below to the volunteer review forms and indicate the fields in which you consider yourself to be a subject matter expert and click the boxes. If your skills match our needs for this review NASA will contact you to discuss scheduling.

National Institutes of Health Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge

The Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge is a $20 million federal prize competition seeking innovative, rapid point-of-care laboratory diagnostic tests to combat the development and spread of drug resistant bacteria. A rising public health problem, antibiotic resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Challenge calls for new, innovative, and novel laboratory diagnostic tests that identify and characterize antibiotic resistant bacteria and/or distinguish between viral and bacterial infections to reduce unnecessary uses of antibiotics, a major cause of antibiotic resistance. With real-time detection, healthcare providers would be able to identify infecting pathogens and resistance factors within hours, rather than days, and use the knowledge to tailor treatment to each individual.

Australia’s Cooperative Research Centres Association Newsletter

Measuring, monitoring and improving partnership arrangements involving research agencies; Engage the Growth Centres; Big Data Architecture for Australia's Agriculture Sector; and more.