January 7, 2016

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

January 7, 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

As of the writing of this RSCAD newsletter, I have become ensconced in Anderson Hall as the new interim VPR (iVPR) and have been beating a path between here and Eisenhower Hall trying to keep all the balls in the air in my first few days on the job. The holiday break was spent learning about all the new challenges I’m facing in the iVPR (pronounced so it sounds a bit like the venomous snake “viper”). We are finalizing our search for a new Associate Vice President for Research Compliance and managing to keep proposal pressures on The Beltway. I’ve also had a chance to start meeting with different college and departmental leaders to discuss the challenges we have with research on campus, and I will be on a walkabout to visit research spaces and meet faculty and staff for most of this month to get me up to speed on all the great things we do that comprise our K-State RSCAD portfolio.

Since I have no idea how many folks actually read the newsletter, I’m going to mix things up a bit — taking some editorial license from Sarah Hancock (the OVPR writer) — and insert some potentially clever news items into the regular reports. I will also be handing over my @KSUArtSciDean Twitter feed to a new interim dean soon, and I will emerge as a new Twitter personality to complement the @KState_RSCAD feed that Sarah manages. If you’ve read this far — great! Thank you. Keep going and check out news in the world of RSCAD. If you think we missed something important, please let us know.

— Peter

Save the dates!

  • K-State will offer a Regional National Endowment for the Humanities Application-Writing Workshop March 9, 2016. Registration and details will be available in early 2016.
  • The K-State Research Showcase is slated for March 22, 2016 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the K-State Student Union with a reception to follow at the KSU Foundation Office Park. The event will identify and promote campus expertise, focus areas, and resources; facilitate strategic relationships and opportunities between K-State researchers and industry partners; and explore opportunities to collaborate on transformative RSCAD, innovations, and technology.

K-State in the News

Kansas Group Plans to Restore Monarch Butterfly Habitat

12/22/15 SF Gate
The Hutchinson News (http://bit.ly/1Tfy1Xf) reports that the foundation recently launched the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund to help restore up to 33,000 acres of monarch habitat in the country after the butterfly population dropped from 1 billion to fewer than 60 million over the past 20 years. ... Shelly Wiggam with Kansas State University's Department of Entomology says she believes the grant has "great potential" to have a significant effect on monarch populations by changing rangeland management practices, and, in turn, increasing milkweed populations, which are vital to the insect.

This Stinks: Skunks Blamed for Increase in Kansas Cattle with Rabies

12/25/15 SF Gate
An increase in rabid skunks in Kansas is the likely reason why cattle have become the most common domestic animal diagnosed with rabies, a Kansas State University researcher says. Gregg Hanzlicek, director of production animal field investigations for the university's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, said 13 rabies cases in cattle were recorded this year, up from nine in 2014.

New Year's Resolutions

12/25/15 Huffington Post Science and 1/02/16 Inquisitr
From Huffington Post: A study published in January [2015] in the Journal of Clinical Psychology finds that one of the best predictors of whether you'll achieve a goal is your motivation. "Think about your reasons for setting your goal,"said Emily Mailey, assistant professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University and one of the study's authors, in a statement. "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."

Gerontologist Offers Suggestions for Families Coping with Dementia

12/17/15 Science Daily
It is important that families communicate with one another ahead of time and inform each other, especially those family members who live farther away, about Grandma's current condition, advised Laci Cornelison, instructor with Kansas State University's Center on Aging, a part of the College of Human Ecology.

From Our Peers

Magnetic Nanoparticle Chains Offer New Technique for Controlling Soft Robots

12/22/15 Bloomberg
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for using chains of magnetic nanoparticles to manipulate elastic polymers in three dimensions, which could be used to remotely control new "soft robots."

Elephant Daughters Step into Murdered Matriarchs' Roles

12/17/15 LiveScience
Elephants' social flexibility in spite of poaching provides a ray of hope for the sustainability of their populations, according to the study's first author, Shifra Goldenberg, a doctoral candidate with George Wittemyer's lab at Colorado State University. "The fact that elephants are socially resilient is an important and exciting finding, showing their innate resilience to this unfortunate human pressure," Goldenberg said in a statement.

Seaweed Is the New Kale: 11 Hot Food Trends for 2016

12/21/15 Yahoo!
The latest coffee trends will perk up even the most jaded java lover with newfangled caffeinated concoctions that range from carbonated coffee to iced coffee mocktails, according to Sterling-Rice Group’s 2016 Culinary Trends report. ”Coffee is no longer just a hot beverage you have in a cup with breakfast in the morning,” says Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist with the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University.

Bioactive Glass Could Be the Tooth Filling of the Future

12/24/15 Yahoo!
The fillings of the future could be bioactive glass, according to engineers at Oregon State University. The futuristic-sounding bioactive glass is a crushed glass containing compounds such as silicon oxide, calcium oxide and phosphorus oxide. It has already been used for decades in some types of bone healing, however bioactive glass is new in the world of dentistry. Researchers believe that when used in composite tooth fillings it could prevent bacteria from attacking the filling, helping them to last longer.

Scientist Unravels the Mysteries of a Beetle That Lived Nearly 100 Million Years Ago

12/15/15 Science Daily
"For a beetle taxonomist and for the entomological community as a whole, this is an exciting discovery," said Michael Caterino, the director of the Clemson University Arthropod Collection. "This is an extraordinary 99 million-year-old fossil in Burmese amber. We can see all the details of the external sculpturing of the wing covers and the head. We can see the mouth parts, which enable us to predict that this was a predator much like it's modern relatives. And it has a lot of tantalizing characteristics that we hypothesized early members of this family had. But we no longer have to guess. Now we can confirm."

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 Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) opportunity seeks well-integrated interdisciplinary research efforts to transform scientific understanding of the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability.

RSCAD Trending Topics

What Will Doctoral Education Look Like in 2025?

Higher education has always changed slowly, and that’s not a bad thing. We shouldn’t expect the university to be blown about by fads. But graduate school changes slowly even by academic standards. Today graduate school is gripped in a vise. One jaw of that vise is the ever-tightening academic job market, and the other jaw is the increasing corporatization of the academy. Their squeeze is hardly new. It’s built up over the years so that the institution can hardly breathe.

Einstein Did Not Play Dice With Humanists: Feuding Physicists Turn to Philosophy for Help

Is string theory science? Physicists and cosmologists have been debating the question for the past decade. Now the community is looking to philosophy for help. ... [Last] month, some of the feuding physicists met with philosophers of science at an unusual workshop aimed at addressing the accusation that branches of theoretical physics have become detached from the realities of experimental science. At stake is the integrity of the scientific method, as well as the reputation of science among the general public, say the workshop’s organizers.

For now, they're known by working names, like ununseptium and ununtrium — two of the four new chemical elements whose discovery has been officially verified. The elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 will get permanent names soon, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. With the discoveries now confirmed, "The 7th period of the periodic table of elements is complete," according to the IUPAC. The additions come nearly five years after elements 114 (flerovium, or Fl) and element 116 (livermorium or Lv) were added to the table.

So you thought the Rolling Stones were old? Check out this Quadricentennial Tour of Shakespeare's First Folio (see it at K-State's Beach Museum of Art in February!)

One of the world's most precious volumes starts a tour on Monday, in Norman, Okla. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is sending out William Shakespeare's First Folio to all 50 states to mark the 400th anniversary of the bard's death. Published seven years after he died, the First Folio is the first printed collection of all of Shakespeare's plays.

Application Missteps — Poor Writing and Presentation: Advice from NIH

NIH Statement on the FY2016 Omnibus Bill

Millennials’ Views of News Media, Religious Organizations Grow More Negative

Younger generations tend to have more-positive views than their elders of a number of institutions that play a big part in American society. But for some institutions — such as churches and the news media — Millennials’ opinions have become markedly more negative in the past five years.