Science: Montana State's Troublesome Elms

Once again, controversy surrounds genetically altered bacteria

Late last week a cordon of Montana State University police stepped aside as Gary Strobel, a professor of plant pathology, led a group of onlookers to a stand of 13 American elms in the Bozeman campus research grove. He took a chain saw and severed the trees six inches above the ground. Then the trunks were sawed into sections and trucked to an incinerator. The stumps were doused with a powerful herbicide, and the surrounding soil was fumigated. Said a tearful Strobel: "Now maybe I can go back to other things."

On Aug. 12, Strobel admitted he had injected the elms...

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