No. 406: Building Bridgeworks, accentuating AI, big bucks in Bethpage – and only Applied DNA could go to China

Above par: For the first time at a major championship – or any golf tournament – every player in the Official World Golf Ranking Top 100 teed up at this week's 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.


Finish line: The end of another busy workweek is upon is, dear readers, and the start of another well-earned weekend.

It’s May 17 out there, and if you had the hometown Wallachians driving the invading Ottoman Empire out of southern Romania on this date in 1395’s Battle of Rovine, kudos – 150 silver groschen have been credited to your account.

You say potato: Today is IDAHO, but it has nothing to do with Gem State spud producers. Instead, the acronym references the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, with arms open in some 132 countries.

Relax: It’s also World Hypertension Day, an annual effort to raise blood pressure awareness – and, ironically, lower blood pressure.

Wheel of fortune: Like so many classic inventions, the carousel has many origin stories – but the most widely accepted says the first merry-go-round spun up at a Turkish fair on May 17, 1620.

Stock and trade: Meeting under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street, 24 merchants formed the New York Stock Exchange on this date in 1792.

The last frontier: It wouldn’t become the 49th state until 1959, but the District of Alaska was designated by the U.S. government on May 17, 1884.

Because, because, because, because, because: Because of the wonderful things he does, we remember that L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (with illustrations by William Denslow) was first published on this date in 1900 in Chicago.

Puerto change-o: The native Tainos called it “Boriken” and Columbus called it “San Juan Bautista,” but Congress officially changed the name of the unincorporated U.S. territory to “Puerto Rico” on May 17, 1932.

Before that, the Greater Antilles archipelago was unofficially known as “Porto Rico.”

Segregation repudiation: And it was this date in 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court made its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that state laws creating separate schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional.

A way with words: Edward Jenner (1749-1823) – an English doctor who discovered the smallpox vaccine and coined the words “virus” and “vaccination” (the latter combining the Latin “vacca,” meaning cow, and “vaccinia,” meaning cowpox) – would be 270 years old today.

Other May 17 birthdays include Sir Joseph Lockyer (1836-1920), the English astronomer who discovered helium in the sun (before it was discovered on Earth) and later founded “Nature” magazine; American automobile manufacturer Horace Dodge (1868-1920); African-American refrigeration pioneer Fredrick McKinley Jones (1893-1961); and legendary computer programmer Alan Day (born 1940), best known for creating “window” user-interface graphics.

In the flow: And take a bow, Eithne Ní Bhraonáin – the sweet-voiced Irish singer and songwriter, known best by the stage name Enya, turns 58 today.

Woo who: Before we wrap up the week, special shout-outs to faithful readers Cindy Mardenfeld – who woohoo-ed us after Wednesday’s newsletter to express her enthusiasm for National Chocolate Chip Day – and SynchroPET COO Tom Mariner, inspired to drop us a line by our coverage of Adelphi University’s new scientific-computing minor.

Keep those notes coming, friends – story tips, calendar suggestions and general howdy-dos always welcome at


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Pot luck: Canadian pharmaceutical-solutions provider TheraCann International Benchmark Corp. has announced an agreement with CannAcubed Pte, a pioneer in China’s rapidly emerging legal-cannabis space, that will apply TheraCann’s ETCH Biotrace tracking tech to cannabinoid markets throughout the world’s most populated country.

That’s big news for Stony Brook-based product-authentication specialist Applied DNA Sciences, which exclusively supplies the molecular taggants fueling ETCH Biotrace. Over the past 18 months, the biotech and its Canadian/Panamanian partner have upgraded the world’s first DNA-based cannabis-tagging system for large-scale growers and inked a long-term licensing deal permanently pairing Applied DNA’s proprietary CertainT integrity platform and the BioTrace seed-to-scale tracker.

TheraCann’s new Chinese agreement marks a major moment for that burgeoning licensing deal – and for Applied DNA’s global aspirations, according to President and CEO James Hayward. “The base technology behind ETCH Biotrace has enjoyed a long and proven track record in the cotton industry and other global supply chains,” Hayward said Wednesday. “The opportunity to supply molecular taggants to TheraCann on a large commercial scale … leverages our core competency.”

On the way to the forum: The Lake Success-based Long Island Capital Alliance has set an ambitious agenda for its May 31 Healthcare Capital Forum, an innovators-meet-investors pitch-a-thon in Melville featuring six entrepreneurial enterprises from the Island and beyond.

The LICA Capital Forum is a quarterly breakfast-networking platform that places early-stage businesses and a panel of industry experts, who question and rate the businesses, before an audience of potential investors. The May 31 forum is slated to feature presentations from Swiss medical-device-sterilization expert SteriLux, Lindenhurst-based “escape respirator” manufacturer Oxxy-Gen and New York City-based medical-implant specialist CapCell Biologics, among other medical makers.

Event sponsors include EisnerAmper, NYIT, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency and Carter DeLuca Farrell & Schmidt LLP. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Ticket pricing, event pre-registration and more information available right here.



Works in progress: With an expanded Bridgeworks campus and a fine-tuned DropDesk software suite, Long Beach innovator Graham Beck is getting his “Uber” on.

Genuine smarts: With an eye on cross-discipline innovation, Stony Brook University has launched its new artificial intelligence institute.

No surprises: First-quarter earnings were off at both Medford biotech Chembio and Melville global distributor Henry Schein – but neither company is very worried about it.



Farmingdale State and Nassau Community College are admitting victory, a Stony Brook superconductivity startup is charging ahead and the Cradle of Aviation museum is still counting on Apollo.



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

From California: Costa Mesa-based networking ace EnGenius Technologies boosts its outdoor-networking connectivity.

From Massachusetts: Springfield-based services integrator SystemOne’s new app puts lab results, patient links and other electronic notifications in the clinician’s hand.

From Minnesota: Woodbury-based electronics expert Fosman changes the game with a new Xbox One controller charging station, loaded with extra ports and battery slots.



+ Joseph Posillico has joined the New York Institute of Technology as vice president for enrollment management. He was previously senior vice president overseeing admissions, financial aid, marketing, communications, athletics and facilities operations for Caldwell University in New Jersey.

+ Eva Chalas, physician director of the Cancer Care Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, is the new president-elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington, D.C. Chalas is also ob-gyn vice chairwoman and professor at NYU Winthrop’s Mineola medical school.

+ Leonard Stekol has joined the board of directors at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. He is the chairman, president and CEO of Ridgewood Savings Bank in Queens.

+ Lyn Weiss has been hired as chairwoman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola. She previously led residency training for physical medicine and rehabilitation and directed electrodiagnostic medicine at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

+ Jaime Stojanowski has been promoted to Bank of America’s consumer banking regional executive for Long Island and New York City.



Bank on it: This week’s 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black will generate $100 million in regional economic activity, as calculated by Newsday.

Live by it: The year’s best innovations in nutrition, as digested by Forbes.

Count on it: Long Island’s only master’s degree in forensic accounting, as presented by SUNY Old Westbury, one of the amazing institutions that supports Innovate LI. Check them out.