No. 221: Gray matters, big bucks for bio and digitizing your Play Doh

A good Tuesday to you: It’s June 6, on which Allied forces launched the invasion of France in 1944, a risky, weather-plagued assault on Normandy during which almost 4,500 Allied troops were killed.

If you have a spare 178 minutes: “The Longest Day,” the 1962 film adaptation of Cornelius Ryan’s seminal D-Day book, stars everyone from Eddie Albert to Dominique Zardi. It remained the most expensive B&W film ever made until 1993’s “Schindler’s List.”

Welcome new readers Neal, David, Sharon, Lance and EB.

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But first, this: Researchers have discovered 40 additional genes that are involved in regulating human intelligence, bringing the known total to 52.

That seems rather low, given that we have 20,000 or so “working” genes, which is not even to count those that sit around waiting to pass on blue eyes or androgenetic alopecia, which some of our male readers know is Latin for “bald by 20.”

Scientists are nonetheless tickled with the latest research, which will be followed by experiments on lab mice to see what parts of the brain are directly controlled by the just-found 40 and, of course, to find more. They hope to one day be able to produce genetic therapies, possibly even pharmaceuticals, that could improve the biological side of human intelligence.

Only about half of our intelligence is controlled by genetics, but the notion of IQ-boosting drugs and therapies is already fueling ethical debate over designer babies and the staving off of cognitive aging.

They are a possibility, certainly, but one that is, at best, decades away.

The robots will surely have taken over by then.

Not exactly related: BrainCheck, an app-run platform spinning out of Baylor that allows you to baseline and monitor brain health, raised $1.5 million from True Wealth Ventures.

Fund times: The Long Island Bioscience Hub is doling out $400,000 in grants for five biomed research projects in various stages of development, including advanced medical-imaging, computer-based drug discoveries and new pharmaceutical treatments.

Doubling up: Tools4Ever, a Netherlands-based global provider of digital identity and access-management solutions with U.S. operations in Lynbrook, has joined forces with eSchoolData, a Bohemia-based provider of digital frameworks – databases, email services and more – to support school districts in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Resource guide: NYIT’s 12th annual energy conference, featuring Robert N. Amundsen, Nada Marie Anid, Ed Romaine and more, June 15, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., de Seversky Mansion, details here.

Buffalo watch: Tesla/Solar City’s new solar roofing tiles, to be manufactured at the firm’s giant upstate factory, are sold out through 2018.

Long Island’s Healthiest Companies: A new Innovate LI program recognizes local firms that promote workplace health and employee wellness. Nominations being accepted here now and mark your calendars for Sept. 13.

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Decacorn update: The seven most valuable startups in America.

Molding more inventive kids: Dough Universe is Kickstarting kits that bring sound controllers and other fun electronics to the Play Doh experience.


Worth considering: The LI Capital Alliance stages a pitch event on cyber security and defense, presentations by GTop Group, IP Video Corp., Mission Solutions Group and Code DX, June 9, 8 to 11 a.m., RXR’s 68 South Service Road in Melville, pricing from $50, info here.

Poolside networking: ACIT holds its annual My Isn’t That An Interesting Hawaiian Shirt party, June 14, Crest Hollow, details here.

Don’t miss: Carpenter and Kominicki host the annual Islip CEO breakfast, June 15, free, register here.

Growth strategies: The Business Incubator Association holds its annual meeting June 15-16 at the U of Albany Cancer Center. Includes legislative face time, accelerator tours and collective deep thought on state, local and private efforts to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem, $75 conference fee, cheap rooms at the Hilton available, info here.

The rest of the Innovate calendar: Is here.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.