No. 325: Prime time for Whole Foods, a big score for LI colleges and playing it safe with coyotes

Full steam ahead: George Stephenson named the world’s first steam engine in honor of Prussian field marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.

Middle ground: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of another busy (and sticky!) summer workweek.

X factor: It’s July 25 out there, a big date for suspending the freedom of the press, eliminating legislators’ ability to amend laws and otherwise silencing political enemies. Of course, that’s a reference to France’s King Charles X, who signed the infamous July Ordinances on July 25, 1830 – a questionable move that led to massive social protests and, ultimately, the autocrat’s abdication and exile.

It’s also a national holiday in Costa Rica, Jamaica and Tunisia. Please celebrate responsibly.

Train of thought: It was July 25, 1814, when English engineer and “Father of the Railways” George Stephenson introduced the “Blucher,” the world’s first steam-powered locomotive.

Paper protections: The paper shirt collar, once a favorite of clergymen, was patented on this date in 1854 by New York City inventor Walter Hunt.

And Albany inventor Seth Wheeler patented perforated wrapping paper on July 25, 1871.

Roundabout: On that same day in 1871, Iowa inventor Wilhelm Schneider patented the electric carousel.

Move over, boys: Annette Adams, the first female district attorney in U.S. history, took her oath of office in California on July 25, 1918.

An uncommon commonwealth: And this is a big date in Puerto Rico, which became a self-governing U.S. territory on July 25, 1952 – the 54th anniversary of the invasion of American troops during the Spanish-American War.

It’s scientific: Plenty of athletes and entertainers celebrate birthdays on July 25, but the date is actually replete with major innovators and influencers.

Among them: English clockmaker Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), who patented the “cylinder escapement” that introduced horizontal wheels to clocks and watches; Frank Sprague (1857-1934), the electric-railway pioneer who installed the first U.S. trolley system; Andrew Lawson (1861-1952), the Scottish-Canadian geologist who discovered the San Andreas Fault; and Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), the English chemist who, along with fellow Brit Francis Crick and Long Island legend James Watson, co-discovered the structure of DNA.

This is a test: And take a bow, Louise Joy Brown – the world’s first “test tube baby” turns 40 today (for the record, Brown was actually conceived in a petri dish).

Wish these amazing pioneers a happy birthday at, and while you’re at it, tip us off to Long Island’s next great scientific innovation – we live for that stuff.


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Prime location: Amazon’s Prime Now service is now delivering natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market to a host of new destinations, including major cities in Florida, select neighborhoods in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan and hamlets right here on Long Island.

Amazon announced the new delivery locales Tuesday as part of its yearlong Prime Now expansion. The service, which promises deliveries “in as little as an hour,” won’t deliver to every Long Island address, however, and Islanders are encouraged to visit (or download the Prime Now app) and enter their ZIP code to see if they’re on the list (there are Whole Foods stores in Lake Grove, Manhasset and Jericho, with new markets planned for Commack and Garden City).

Whole Foods is “excited to bring the service to our customers” in the new coverage areas, according to Whole Foods Market Executive Vice President of Operations Christina Minardi. But Prime Now is actually playing catch-up here: San Francisco-based delivery service Instacart started delivering goods from Whole Foods and other major retailers – including Petco and CVS – to 110 Long Island ZIP codes last summer.

Best of the Quest: New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health has become the first health system to win the American Hospital Association’s prestigious Quest for Quality Prize.

The AHA has bestowed the honor – which recognizes healthcare leadership and innovation, particularly regarding community-based health efforts – to hospitals since 2002. This year, the award criteria expanded to include health systems, and New York’s largest healthcare provider (by number of patients and number of providers) and largest private-sector employer (61,000-plus) was selected for the top prize by a “multidisciplinary committee of healthcare quality and patient-safety experts,” according to the AHA.

Finalists included the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland and Wisconsin’s Aurora Health Care system; the AHA also awarded Citations of Merit to Atrium Health in North Carolina and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in Minnesota – all “remarkable leaders in elevating the quality of care they provide to their patients and communities,” according to AHA President and Chief Executive Rick Pollack.



Hot pot: With legalized-marijuana revenues soaring through the billions, Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences has introduced the world’s first cannabis tracking system.

Facilitating new facilities: Adelphi and Hofstra universities are among the big regional winners in the latest funding round by Albany’s Higher Education Facilities Capital Matching Grant Program.

Crowd pleaser: A Stony Brook University researcher reveals why a startup’s product or service is only one of the factors determining the success of a crowdfunding campaign.

Havasy, having her say: Why Ray Ann Havasy, a Columbia University PhD and the founder/director of Rockville Centre’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning, takes her STEM education mission personally.

Drain this: An annual survey shows that six months after commencement, Farmingdale State College grads are shining across Greater New York – contrary to the region’s infamous “brain drain.”



Ramming ahead: Fordham University is the primary beneficiary of New York City’s largest-ever solar project, a 3.1 megawatt array on Staten Island.

Critical contributions: Forbes explains why even the most revenue-starved cities must find a way to invest in “innovation communities.”



+ LoanSnap, a San Francisco-based developer of technology that protects people from taking out “dumb” loans, raised $8 million in Series A financing led by True Ventures, with participation from Baseline Ventures, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Core Innovation Partners, Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, OVO Fund, Transmedia Ventures and various angel investors.

+ CyberMDX, a New York City-based healthcare cybersecurity provider for medical devices and clinical networks, completed a $10 million Series A financing round led by Pitango Venture Capital, with participation from OurCrowd Qure.

+ HotSpot Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology startup targeting nature’s regulatory hotspots to discover and develop first-in-class medicines, completed a $45 million Series A financing round backed by Atlas Venture and Sofinnova Partners.

+ Kenzie Academy, a San Francisco-based apprenticeship program that develops modern tech workers, closed a $4.2 million seed funding round led by ReThink Education, with participation from Learn Start, a fund affiliated with Learn Capital, and new investors Gratitude Railroad, Kelly Services and Butler University.



Book smart? Newsday explains why Forbes spiked an opinion piece by an LIU economics professor calling for the end of public libraries.

Please don’t feed the coyotes: And other useful safety tips, with the SPCA confirming the jackal-like wild canines are roaming Nassau County.

Gentle reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free news,” so please continue to support the great institutions that support Innovate Long Island – including NYIT, home of freshly minted Vice President Nada Anid and dozens of other great educators.