No. 404: Chembio’s Brazilian breakthrough, fertile ground in Commack and a West Coast cameo – plus, scampi for all!

Star turn: UNC Chapel Hill's Morehead Planetarium, which helped train NASA astronauts in the 1960s and 1970s in celestial navigation, celebrates its 70th anniversary today.


Weekend Avenger: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, and now that the “Endgame” spoiler ban is officially lifted, welcome back to everyone previously dusted by the Thanos Snap.

You’ve survived both a universal genocide and another busy workweek – well done on both counts.

Mother of all days: It’s May 10 out there, and to our readers in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, a very happy Mother’s Day.

Our Mother’s Day is Sunday. You still have time.

Shell game: Americans eat more Caridea and Dendrobranchiatthan than any other seafood, and you figure that only goes up every May 10, aka National Shrimp Day.

Shocking: Based on a letter from Benjamin Franklin, one month before the founding father would famously attempt it himself, French physicist Thomas Dalibard stole Franklin’s thunder by conducting the kite-and-key-in-an-electrical-storm experiment on this date in 1752.

Two-fer: Berlin Academy of Scientists chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff announced the discovery of two new elements – cesium and rubidium – on May 10, 1860.

For the record, Bunsen’s flame is eternal – but his eponymous burner may be the least of his many innovations.

Nailed it: California Gov. (and university namesake) Leland Stanford drove home the ceremonial Golden Spike on May 10, 1869, joining the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in Utah and completing the First Transcontinental Railroad.

The choice of a new generation: Slightly ahead of her time, suffragist Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for the U.S. presidency – by the Equal Rights Party – on this date in 1872.

Her running mate was black abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

Chemical reaction: Just days after Germans first attacked Allied troops with chemical weapons, Canadian doctor Cluny MacPherson, principal medical officer with the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, presented the British War Office with his new invention – the gas mask – on May 10, 1915.

Stargazing: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium – the first planetarium in the South and the first owned by an American university – opened on this date in 1949.

Happy birthday also to the very first U.S. planetarium, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, which turns 89 on Sunday.

Diffraction differentiator: Speaking of birthdays, French physicist and optics pioneer Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788-1827) – who shot down Newton’s particle theories by helping establish the wave theory of light – would be 231 years old today.

Also born on May 10 were tea magnate Thomas Lipton (1848-1931); sweet-stepping star Fred Astaire (1899-1987); English-American astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who divined that hydrogen and helium are interstellar constants; and hard-rocking Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (aka John Ritchie, 1957-1979).

Eight is enough: And take a bow, Gosselin sextuplets – six of the eight siblings featured on “John & Kate Plus Eight” (and later just “Kate Plus Eight”) turn 15 today.

Wish them all a happy birthday at Story tips, calendar suggestions always appreciated, please and thank you.


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Cross-continent connection: Formalizing a previously announced collaboration, the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy this week signed a memorandum of understanding to “support, foster and accelerate the development of clean and sustainable energy research” at Stony Brook University’s Research & Development Park.

Less a consultant and more a strategic partner working to commercialize energy research, the CSE is a mission-driven nonprofit providing program support and technical-advisory services to clean-energy efforts nationwide. It’s already invested some $50,000 into research projects at SBU’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center and Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology.

The initial focus of the new MoU will be two demonstration projects led by Professor Devinder Mahajan at SBU’s Institute of Gas Innovation and Technology: a power-to-gas concept that stores excess wind and solar power as hydrogen and a biomass thermal conversion process that produces off-grid electrical power from wood waste.

World view: Netherlands tech hub TNW, California early-stage booster Startup Genome and Philadelphia’s Global Entrepreneurship Network have something to tell Long Island innovators – and innovators literally everywhere else.

Billed as “the world’s most comprehensive and widely read research on startups,” the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report is now available. The tireless analysis combines data from thousands of startup founders and millions of companies – supplemented by research from innovation aggregators Crunchbase, Dealroom and Orb Intelligence – to offer critical insights for entrepreneurs, executives, investors and others.

While Long Island doesn’t get any specific love in what the GSER calculates as a $3 trillion global startup economy, there is good news for the Island: The report ranks New York City among its top five regions for both overall startup ecosystems and life-sciences ecosystems, including a highest ranking for access to life-sciences talent – a nod to LI’s leading academic institutions and laboratories and reinforcement of the region’s emerging bioscience-corridor identity.



Great expectations: A state-of-the-art fertility clinic brings a heartwarming (and critical) expansion to the Stony Brook Advanced Specialty Care facility.

Absence of malice: Ruskin Moscou Faltischek’s new alternative-resolution practice group is all about keeping commercial clients away from the courthouse.

Jungle fever: Medford’s Chembio Diagnostics expects big things following key Brazilian regulatory approvals for its point-of-care dengue virus field test.



Mixing it up at Adelphi, building it up at Spellman High Voltage Electronics.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From California: Milpitas-based automation and customer-support expert noHold lands a Fortune 500 client with its new HR Virtual Assistant.

From North Carolina: Charlotte-based advanced orthopedic stem cell specialist iOBX warns about stem-cell scams involving fetal birth products.

From Canada, eh: Ten-thousand total hip replacements, and counting, for Ontario-based Intellijoint Surgical’s “surgeon-controlled smart navigation system.”



+ Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz has hired Sonia Kaczmarzyk as an associate in its Commercial Litigation Department. She previously served as an assistant district attorney in Queens County.

+ Abby Sheeline has been promoted to senior director of marketing for Cold Spring Harbor-based Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. She joined the firm as a marketing coordinator in 2005.

+ Michael Nett has been promoted to chairman of the Orthopedics Department at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

+ Jaclyn Farino has been hired as a gerontology nurse practitioner at Central Islip-based Long Island Select Healthcare. She previously served as a nurse practitioner at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

+ Angelina Ramirez has been hired as a senior executive consultant at Mineola-based McBride Consulting and Business Development Group. She previously served as executive director of the Washington Heights Business Improvement District in Manhattan.



R-E-S-P-E-C-T: This Mother’s Day (and every day), what women want most is equality in the workplace.

Self-respect: Those who can’t do teach – and those who can do probably taught themselves, according to a new study on studying.

SEO respect: Bucharest-based search-engine optimization ace SEOlium tallies the most-searched brands and English words in a global Google Search popularity contest.

Respectful pause: Please keep supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI – including diverse, affordable and innovative NYIT, a shining cornerstone of Long Island’s world-class higher-education community.