New laws take effect on July 1

From Association of Business and Industry

Friday is July 1 – the beginning of the state’s fiscal year and also the date when many laws passed during the 2016 legislative session will take effect. Most notably, Iowa manufacturers can now take advantage of a sales and use tax exemption for supplies consumed during the manufacturing process. HF 2433 passed in March and included language to clarify the law related to Iowa’s sales tax exemptions for manufacturers. ABI put together a frequently asked questions document about the legislation you can access here. The Iowa Department of Revenue has also put together helpful information, which is available here.

Click here to read about other laws affecting Iowa businesses.



Pleasant Hill STEM teacher named to national FFA board

Matthew Eddy, a teacher at Southeast Polk Community Schools, recently was named to the National FFA board of directors. Eddy is a CASE (Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) Certified Master Teacher and holds certification in agriculture, food and natural resources, animal science, plant science and biotechnology. He authored the governor’s STEM Scale-Up Program grants, securing more than $2.5 million for Iowa agriculture programs to participate in adopting the CASE model since 2012. The Southeast Polk FFA chapter is one of Iowa’s largest and each year hosts the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair.

SBDC state, regional offices move under one roof at ISU Research Park

From the Business Record Daily 6/30/16

America’s Small Business Development Center has moved its state office and ISU regional office to Iowa State University’s new Economic Development Core Facility at the ISU Research Park. The two offices are now at 1805 Collaboration Place, allowing for increased collaboration and effectiveness, the agency said in a release. “This move will allow us to pivot more quickly to the needs of entrepreneurs by increasing our access to partner resources,” said Lisa Shimkat, state director.   To read a Business Record article about the ISU Research Park expansion, click here.

Additive manufacturing center to hold open house

From Business Record Daily 6/28/16:

The Additive Manufacturing and Design Center, the most technologically advanced 3-D printing and design center in the United States, will hold an open house on June 30 from noon to 4 p.m. at the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo. The center is a collaboration of the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center and Hawkeye Community College. The location focuses on additive manufacturing and is home to the Ex-One S-Max, the largest 3-D printer of its type in North America. “Our goal is to make the design center at the UNI Metal Casting Center the go-to place in Iowa, if not the Midwest, to expand additive manufacturing training of this kind,” said Randy Pilkington, director of the UNI Business and Community Services said. Click here for more information.

Signup for Business Record Daily E-Newsletters at no charge at:


Dream Big, THINK BIGGER conference for Iowa Entrepreneurial Women


The Iowa Innovation Corporation is sponsoring a series of one-day conferences, one in Iowa City and two in Ames. If you own a business, or have always dreamed of starting one, this is for you. They have added several new workshops and panels, covering the gamut. Just dreaming? There’s something for you. Need legal advice? There’s something for you. Financial advice? Yep.

Attend one day. Attend all three. It’s an investment in yourself. 

Check out this agenda! August 15 in Iowa City and August 16-17 in Ames.


Click here for More Information


Bear believed to be “Iowa Corn Bear” killed by truck

A black bear was spotted on Friday, June 17, 2016, in a cornfield near Harpers Ferry, Iowa. (courtesy Brian Gibbs)

Published: June 27, 2016, 11:19 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – A young black bear was struck and killed by a truck Friday evening on Highway 76 near the Yellow River Forest in southeast Allamakee County.

The bear is believed to be the same one that had been pictured on social media last week in a corn field near the Yellow River Forest. It was a young bear weighing about 200 pounds. The last bear reported to be killed in a traffic collision in Iowa was just over a year ago on U.S. Highway 20 near Jesup.

DNR Conservation Officer Burt Walters said the bear has been frozen and will be analyzed. It is likely the bear will be put on display at a new Allamakee County nature center being constructed in Lansing.

Bears are believed to wander into Iowa from neighboring states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri where there are breeding populations of black bears.

Read the entire story at:


Brexit vote to have minimal short-term impact on Iowa ag exports

Experts say questions remain about long-term ramifications

Agriculture experts say they don’t expect the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union to have significant short-term impacts on Iowa exports, but questions remain about the long-term ramifications.

“In the first place, we don’t sell a lot into either Great Britain or Europe, and what we do sell is mostly soybean meal,” said Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s director of research and commodity services.

Read the entire story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette at:


ISU scientists develop nanomachines to diagnose illness

Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson – Professor of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State University


AMES, Iowa – Imagine you want to build an intricate work of architecture, like a castle.

Now imagine that, once all its individual components are brought together, the castle builds itself automatically. Finally, imagine this castle is so small that it’s measured on the same scale as DNA, viruses and small molecules.

You’ve just entered the nanoscale world where Eric Henderson lives. And if this sounds like magic to you, maybe you’re not far off the mark.

“It’s the magic of how DNA works,” said Henderson, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University.

Henderson, along with his former graduate student Divita Mathur, studies how to build nanomachines that may have real-world medical applications someday soon. He and Mathur recently published an article in the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports describing his laboratory’s successful effort to design a nanomachine capable of detecting a mockup of the Ebola virus.

He said such a machine would prove valuable in the developing world, where access to diagnostic medical equipment can be rare. He said his nanotechnology could be fabricated cheaply and deployed easily. Used in conjunction with a smartphone app, nearly anyone could use the technology to detect Ebola or any number of other diseases and pathogens without the need for traditional medical facilities.

The trick lies in understanding the rules that govern how DNA works, Henderson said.

“It’s possible to exploit that rule set in a way that creates advantages for medicine and biotechnology,” he said.

The iconic double-helix structure of DNA means that one strand of DNA will bind only with a complementary side. Even better, those compatible strands find each other automatically, like a castle that builds itself. Henderson harnessed those same principles for his nanomachines. The components, once added to water and then heated and cooled, find each other and assemble correctly without any further effort from the individual deploying the machines.

And just how “nano” is a nanomachine? Henderson said about 40 billion individual machines fit in a single drop of water.

The machines act as a diagnostic tool that detects certain maladies at the genetic level. For the recently published paper, Henderson and Mathur, now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., designed the machines to look for signs of Ebola, though the experiments in the study used a mock version of the viral genome and not the real thing. Henderson employed an embedded photonic system that tests for the presence of the target molecules. If the machines sniff out what they’re looking for, the photonic system flashes a light, which can be detected with a machine called a fluorometer.

Henderson said this sort of technology could be modified to find certain kinds of molecules or pathogens, allowing for virtually anyone, anywhere to run diagnostic tests without access to medical facilities.

He also envisions a time when similar nanoscale architectures could be used to deliver medication precisely where it needs to go at precisely the right time. These nanomachines, built from DNA, essentially would encapsulate the medication and guide it to its target.

Henderson said such advances aren’t that far beyond the reach of modern medicine. It just requires scientists in the field to think small. Really small, in this case.

From the Iowa State University News Service