ASH TREES DOOMED: A state forester predicts that virtually all of our ash trees — 55 million of them, and one of the most common tree types in Iowa — will be gone within 20 years because of the emerald ash borer’s mounting invasion and no known good ways to stop them. Cities already infested on the east side of the state could see their ashes gone within five or six years. Statewide, there are an estimated 3.1 million in urban areas. Removing the ash trees after they die is projected to cost municipalities up to $3 billion, based on $1,000 per tree expense. Burlington alone expects to see a removal cost of $1 million.
POOR TEAM PLAY: An Iowa State University research team that has received $19 million in federal grants toward developing an AIDS vaccine has been sabotaged by one of its own members. The project leader confirmed last week that researcher Dong-Pyou Han resigned in October after admitting that he’d committed fraud. Federal officials accused Han of spiking rabbit blood with human antibodies to make it look like the experimental vaccine was effective at building defenses in test animals against HIV, the virus that causes the deadly AIDS disease.Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 398-8262