News

Island firm speeds coronavirus vaccines toward tests

By GREGORY ZELLER // Just weeks after announcing an expanded international collaboration targeting the menacing novel coronavirus, Applied DNA Sciences is preparing to mass-produce four potential vaccines. Leveraging the Stony Brook-based biotech’s unique DNA-manufacturing abilities, Rome, Italy-based Takis Biotech will test potential vaccines against the coronavirus (now going by COVID-19) in laboratory mice, on a large scale. Applied DNA expects delivery of four DNA-based “preclinical vaccine candidates” from Takis this month, and “within weeks” will…


Cross-continental pilot links LI docs, Alaskan schools

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Long Island-based pediatrics practice is powering up a telemedicine program it claims can diagnose children, in real time, virtually anywhere – and it’s going about as far as you can go to prove it. All the way to Alaska, where PMP Anywhere – the new telemedicine program by Massapequa-based urgent-care clinic PM Pediatrics – will begin seeing patients next week. That is, the patients will be in Anchorage – but…


Island interests blast gun violence, with both barrels

By GREGORY ZELLER // As deadly shootings rage across the nation, a common theme is ricocheting more frequently around Long Island socioeconomics: protection from gun violence. Several Island-based institutions and organizations have announced fresh efforts targeting the national gun epidemic, ranging from one-off lectures to an expert-laden national research center determined to dent the crisis from a healthcare perspective. Topping the list is Northwell Health’s new Center for Gun Violence Prevention, which is throwing $1…


LI institutions on call as nursing shortage spirals

By GREGORY ZELLER // With a national nursing shortage in their sights, Hofstra University and Northwell Health are launching a new undergraduate nursing program on Long Island – and planning a $60 million learning center to house it. The people who brought you the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra/Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies on Monday announced a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, with…


With FDA approval, Irish implant jolts pacemaker field

By GREGORY ZELLER // For Northwell Health cardiac patients, the packages don’t come much smaller, nor the benefits much bigger. Behold, the Micra AV – the world’s smallest atrioventricular synchrony-promoting pacemaker, based on a cutting-edge technology that virtually eliminates cutting and dances to a whole different beat. Atrioventricular synchrony, of course, tracks electrical activity between the upper and lower chambers of the heart (atrial electrical activity above, followed by ventricular activity below). Problems arise when…


Busy Suffolk IDA eyes jobs in new incentives packages

By GREGORY ZELLER // Take a breath, Suffolk County IDA! It’s already been a busy 2020 for the jobs-focused Industrial Development Agency, which continued to build pro-employment momentum this week with fresh tax-incentive deals promising hundreds of temporary construction jobs in the short term and the creation/retention of hundreds of full-time positions later. Just weeks after greenlighting tax breaks for the developers of Destination KP – a tourism magnet billed as “the largest privately owned…


Minimalism, to the max, in Northwell’s new cath labs

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two Long Island hospitals – one in each county – are among three Northwell Health facilities to earn state approvals for next-level heart-procedure laboratories. Plainview Hospital, Port Jefferson’s Mather Hospital and Lenox Health Greenwich Village have each earned New York State Department of Health approvals clearing the way for new cardiac catheterization laboratories. The labs will be stocked with X-ray-guided catheters, key to a range of minimally invasive heart procedures. The…


In craft-beer marketing, absolutely crushing it

By GREGORY ZELLER // For just about every commercially available “craft beer” – some counts now tally 7,000-plus microbreweries across the nation – there’s an “official competition” naming the tastiest, stoutest, chocolatiest, most aromatic, most derivative of boysenberry and so forth. But a competition that salutes the best in craft-beer marketing? We’ll drink to that. So raise a pint to the Craft Beer Marketing Awards, an inaugural event intending to honor the top packaging and…


Applied DNA to speed up coronavirus countermeasures

By GREGORY ZELLER // Look out, coronavirus – Applied DNA is coming for you. Adding to its growing portfolio of cutting-edge Polymerase Chain Reaction-based projects, Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences is expanding its Joint Development Agreement with Italian R&D company Takis Biotech, with the headline-making 2019-nCoV in their sights. Already hot on the trail of new cancer vaccines, the partners will now work on a “linear DNA” vaccine against the dreaded Wuhan, China-based illness that’s…


Boot camp rewrites the workforce development code

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re connecting important new dots at the Nebula Academy, where an innovative approach to software development is answering a 21st century workforce challenge. You don’t need an Excel spreadsheet to know coders, programmers and other software specialists are in high demand; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 21 percent surge in software-development jobs between 2018 and 2028, easily outpacing national averages. And developers bring home the…


Mustangs bring home the bacon in 2020 Scallop Bowl

By GREGORY ZELLER // Hold the lemon and butter – it’s not that kind of scallop bowl. Instead, the Bay Scallop Bowl is a regional academic competition focused on oceanic sciences, designed to test students’ knowledge through buzzer-style lightning rounds, multiple-choice questions and other team challenges. Part of the annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition, the regional round was hosted Feb. 1 by Stony Brook University, with students from Mount Sinai High School once again…


At New York Tech, eSports are way more than a game

By GREGORY ZELLER // A long time ago, on a campus far, far away, “Spacewar!” changed everything. In October 1972, Stanford University hosted an “intergalactic Olympics” featuring the groundbreaking space-combat videogame (take a Java-fueled trip down memory lane), developed a decade earlier by American computer scientist Stephen Russell. The contest, with a year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine up for grabs, stands as the first known videogame competition. Smash that hyperspace button and flash forward…


In new Eastern Suffolk BOCES tech, the eyes have it

By GREGORY ZELLER // First Anne Sullivan, now this. Fans of historical education will recall Sullivan as the gifted 19th century teacher who helped blind and deaf student (and future renowned humanitarian) Helen Keller learn to communicate – not unlike the decidedly 21st century efforts happening right now at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, where educator Stephanie Hannigan keeps a keen eye on the cutting edge. Hannigan, a speech and language disabilities teacher with the educational cooperative…


In vagus research, the long-term odds just went up

By GREGORY ZELLER // The latest bioelectronics breakthrough from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is a long story. Literally. But it’s a good one: For the first time, electric vagus nerve stimulation – usually tested through one-off zapping experiments – has been delivered through long-term implants. And the results are more than promising, according to researchers who implanted the left cervical vagus nerve of four laboratory mice with “bipolar cuff electrodes” (know your microprobes,…


At NSUH, a cell of the century in the Don Monti unit

By GREGORY ZELLER // That light at the end of the tunnel comes from the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, which provided hope – and bona fide bone marrowy health improvements – to a record number of patients last year. As 2019 ticked down, staffers of the NHCI’s Don Monti Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program gathered inside North Shore University Hospital to recognize what Ruthee Lu-Bayer, chief of the Don Monti Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, called “a…