An analysis of New York renters in affordable housing found that the share of households owing more than $10,000 in arrears more than doubled, a year after the pandemic.
After receiving a 30-year prison sentence, John Gargano won clemency, then rebuilt his career twice. Like New York City, he’s back on his game.
Yes, I’m a student from the “hood.” But we have more to offer than our adversity.
N.Y.U.’s campus is in limbo as graduate students have stopped working, with their union demanding higher wages, more benefits and less police presence on campus.
If you or a loved one has ever undergone a tumor removal as part of cancer treatment, you’re likely familiar with the period of uncertainty and fear that follows. Will the cancer return, and if so, will the doctors catch it at an early enough stage? C2i Genomics has developed software that’s 100x more sensitive in detecting residual disease, and investors are pouncing on the potential. Today, C2i announced a $100 million Series B led by Casdin Capital.
“The biggest question in cancer treatment is, ‘Is it working?’ Some patients are getting treatment they don’t benefit from and they are suffering the side effects while other patients are not getting the treatment they need,” said Asaf Zviran, co-founder and CEO of C2i Genomics in an interview.
Historically, the main approach to cancer detection post-surgery has been through the use of MRI or X-ray, but neither of those methods gets super accurate until the cancer progresses to a certain point. As a result, a patient’s cancer may return, but it may be a while before doctors are able to catch it.
Using C2i’s technology, doctors can order a liquid biopsy, which is essentially a blood draw that looks for DNA. From there they can sequence the entire genome and upload it to the C2i platform. The software then looks at the sequence and identifies faint patterns that indicate the presence of cancer, and can inform if it’s growing or shrinking.
“C2i is basically providing the software that allows the detection and monitoring of cancer to a global scale. Every lab with a sequencing machine can process samples, upload to the C2i platform and provide detection and monitoring to the patient,” Zviran told TechCrunch.
C2i Genomics’ solution is based on research performed at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) by Dr. Zviran, along with Dr. Dan Landau, faculty member at the NYGC and assistant professor of medicine at WCM, who serves as scientific co-founder and member of C2i’s scientific advisory board. The research and findings have been published in the medical journal, Nature Medicine.
While the product is not FDA-approved yet, it’s already being used in clinical research and drug development research at NYU Langone Health, the National Cancer Center of Singapore, Aarhus University Hospital and Lausanne University Hospital.
When and if approved, New York-based C2i has the potential to drastically change cancer treatment, including in the areas of organ preservation. For example, some people have functional organs, such as the bladder or rectum, removed to prevent cancer from returning, leaving them disabled. But what if the unnecessary surgeries could be avoided? That’s one goal that Zviran and his team have their minds set on achieving.
For Zviran, this story is personal.
“I started my career very far from cancer and biology, and at the age of 28 I was diagnosed with cancer and I went for surgery and radiation. My father and then both of my in-laws were also diagnosed, and they didn’t survive,” he said.
Zviran, who today has a PhD in molecular biology, was previously an engineer with the Israeli Defense Force and some private companies. “As an engineer, looking into this experience, it was very alarming to me about the uncertainty on both the patients’ and physicians’ side,” he said.
This round of funding will be used to accelerate clinical development and commercialization of the company’s C2-Intelligence Platform. Other investors that participated in the round include NFX, Duquesne Family Office, Section 32 (Singapore), iGlobe Partners and Driehaus Capital.
The first round of funding for the year totals $24 million and will support 225 projects across the country.
A company memo on Tuesday informed the staff that NYU Langone would “provide vaccines for Bloomberg employees who meet the eligibility requirements.”
Many people working from home or out of a job can’t access the hundreds of dollars deducted from their paychecks for transit expenses. “I’m unhappy because it’s a lot of money,” one woman said.
Mutual aid groups are evolving into a long-term effort to help with food, clothing and counseling. “It’s about building the world we want to see,” one volunteer said.
She thrived in a profession where she found herself mostly surrounded by men, taking on leadership roles and helping to turn New York University into a top-tier institution.
As battles over Israel and the Palestinian territories have migrated online, technology has scrambled the debate.
Administrators and young graduate students have been inoculated at leading research hospitals, contrary to state and federal guidelines.
Giving anticoagulants to hospitalized Covid-19 patients is routine. But high doses may sometimes do more harm than good, a safety board finds.
The world’s food supply must double by the year 2050 to meet the demands from a growing population, according to a report from the United Nations. And as pressure mounts to find new crop land to support the growth, the world’s eyes are increasingly turning to the African continent as the next potential global breadbasket.
While Africa has 65% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land, according to the African Development Bank, the countries on the continent face significant obstacles as they look to boost the productivity of their agricultural industries.
On the continent, 80% of families depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but only 4% use irrigation. Many families also lack access to reliable and affordable electricity. It’s these twin problems that Samir Ibrahim and his co-founder at SunCulture, Charlie Nichols, have spent the last eight years trying to solve.
Armed with a new financing model and purpose-built small solar power generators and water pumps, Nichols and Ibrahim, have already built a network of customers using their equipment to increase incomes by anywhere from five to ten times their previous levels by growing higher-value cash crops, cultivating more land and raising more livestock.
The company also has just closed on $14 million in funding to expand its business across Africa.
“We have to double the amount of food we have to create by 2050, and if you look at where there are enough resources to grow food and a lot of point — all signs point to Africa. You have a lot of farmers and a lot of land, and a lot of resources,” Ibrahim said.
African small farmers face two big problems as they look to increase productivity, Ibrahim said. One is access to markets, which alone is a huge source of food waste, and the other is food security because of a lack of stable growing conditions exacerbated by climate change.
As one small farmer told The Economist earlier this year, ““The rainy season is not predictable. When it is supposed to rain it doesn’t, then it all comes at once.”
Ibrahim, who graduated from New York University in 2011, had long been drawn to the African continent. His father was born in Tanzania and his mother grew up in Kenya and they eventually found their way to the U.S. But growing up, Ibrahim was told stories about East Africa.
While pursuing a business degree at NYU Ibrahim met Nichols, who had been working on large scale solar projects in the U.S., at an event for budding entrepreneurs in New York.
The two began a friendship and discussed potential business opportunities stemming from a paper Nichols had read about renewable energy applications in the agriculture industry.
After winning second place in a business plan competition sponsored by NYU, the two men decided to prove that they should have won first. They booked tickets to Kenya and tried to launch a pilot program for their business selling solar-powered water pumps and generators.
Conceptually solar water pumping systems have been around for decades. But as the costs of solar equipment and energy storage have declined the systems that leverage those components have become more accessible to a broader swath of the global population.
That timing is part of what has enabled SunCulture to succeed where other companies have stumbled. “We moved here at a time when [solar] reached grid parity in a lot of markets. It was at a time when a lot of development financiers were funding the nexus between agriculture and energy,” said Ibrahim.
Initially, the company sold its integrated energy generation and water pumping systems to the middle income farmers who hold jobs in cities like Nairobi and cultivate crops on land they own in rural areas. These “telephone farmers” were willing to spend the $5000 required to install SunCulture’s initial systems.
Now, the cost of a system is somewhere between $500 and $1000 and is more accessible for the 570 million farming households across the word — with the company’s “pay-as-you-grow” model.
It’s a spin on what’s become a popular business model for the distribution of solar systems of all types across Africa. Investors have poured nearly $1 billion into the development of off-grid solar energy and retail technology companies like M-kopa, Greenlight Planet, d.light design, ZOLA Electric, and SolarHome, according to Ibrahim. In some ways, SunCulture just extends that model to agricultural applications.
“We have had to bundle services and financing. The reason this particularly works is because our customers are increasing their incomes four or five times,” said Ibrahim. “Most of the money has been going to consuming power. This is the first time there has been productive power.”
SunCulture’s hardware consists of 300 watt solar panels and a 440 watt-hour battery system. The batteries can support up to four lights, two phones and a plug-in submersible water pump.
The company’s best selling product line can support irrigation for a two-and-a-half acre farm, Ibrahim said. “We see ourselves as an entry point for other types of appliances. We’re growing to be the largest solar company for Africa.”
With the $14 million in funding, from investors including Energy Access Ventures (EAV), Électricité de France (EDF), Acumen Capital Partners (ACP), and Dream Project Incubators (DPI), SunCulture will expand its footprint in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire, the company said.
Ekta Partners acted as the financial advisor for the deal, while CrossBoundary provided additional advisory support, including an analysis on the market opportunity and competitive landscape, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Kenya Investment Mechanism Program.
A new report found that service cuts could cost the New York metropolitan area 450,000 jobs by 2022, resulting in $50 billion in lost earnings.
When the pandemic hit, draining streets of traffic, more women began using the city’s bike-share program.
Half of New York’s students should be tested every two weeks, researchers estimate. Officials plan to test only 10 to 20 percent of each school every month.
A post signed by nearly all of the Washington Square News staff accused its new adviser, a longtime journalism professor, of being “rude and disrespectful.”
A professor thought he had created a class that could explore society’s fissures through a single sport. Then the pandemic struck, and basketball became more relevant than ever.
There’s disagreement over the post-pandemic future: Some think the city will never be the same, while others are confident of a rebound.
Students arriving at N.Y.U. and other campuses are flooding social media with complaints about meals they are given as they isolate.
The transit agency will announce budget cuts on Wednesday. Officials are hoping federal assistance will help ease the crisis that the pandemic has created.
Contact tracing is a practice almost as old as epidemiology itself, but today’s technology means the way that we go about tracking the spread of a contagious illness within and between communities is changing very quickly. This presents an opportunity for learning more about the opportunities and challenges presented in extending contact tracing and exposure notification via digital means, especially as contact tracing is likely a key ingredient in any successful reopening of economy in light of ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19.
To that end, we’re happy to be working with the COVID-19 Technology Task Force, as well as Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology, Betaworks Studios and Hangar. We’ll be playing host on TC to their live-streamed discussion (embedded above) around contact-tracing and exposure-notification efforts, as well as how and when businesses can safely reopen, and what tools can help them to do so. The day’s events will include panel chats and software demonstrations, beginning at 11 AM EDT (8 AM PDT) on Wednesday, June 17.
Below, we’ve included an agenda of the confirmed speakers and demonstrations for the day, and in case you missed it, here’s a roundup of demonstrations of contact tracing and app demonstrations built by a number of companies thus far. RSVP for tomorrow’s free event here.
I. Contact Tracing [11AM – 12:30PM EDT]
Contact tracing: what it is, how it works, how tech can help [11:00 – 11:45AM EDT]
- MODERATORS: Andrew McLaughlin and Jonathan Zittrain
- PANELISTS: Margaret Bourdeaux, Mary L. Gray, Mona Sloane and Peggy Hamburg
Using technology to enable scaled contact tracing [11:45AM – 12:05PM EDT]
Contact tracing considerations for state and city government [12:05 – 12:30PM EDT]
II. Reopening Businesses Safely [12:30-2:00PM EDT]
Reopening businesses safely [12:30-1:15PM EDT]
Demos of tools business leaders can use to help reopen safely [1:15-2:00PM EDT]
- MODERATOR: Connor Spelliscy
Margaret Bourdeaux, MD, MPH, is the policy liaison for Partners in Health COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program, and holds appointments at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Daniel Burka is supporting New York State’s COVID-19 response efforts through Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, a global health initiative led by former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
Mike Flowers is leading implementation for contact tracing technology and data strategy for the State of New Jersey as a Senior Fellow with the NJ Office of Innovation. Over the last 25 years he has worked in data intelligence with companies and federal, state and local governments, including as New York City’s first Chief Analytics Officer under Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Mary L. Gray is a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and an Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Fellow at Harvard University.
Jonathan Jackson is the founder and CEO at Dimagi, a social enterprise that develops innovative technology solutions for front-line workforces and underserved populations. They have an extensive background in global health and are a leader in mobile health data collection.
Irina Krechmer is the Chief Technology Officer at Blue Apron, the premier meal-kit company whose mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone. Before joining Blue Apron, Krechmer most recently served as VP of Engineering at XO Group Inc., the premier technology company with industry-leading digital brands, including The Knot, The Bump, The Nest and GigMasters. Krechmer has over 20 years of experience designing, developing and implementing customer-focused technology solutions, primarily at e-commerce, media and consumer technology companies.
Andrew McLaughlin is helping lead the Task Force’s contact tracing/exposure notification initiative. Andrew is the Chairman of Access Now, the Former Deputy U.S. CTO for the White House, and the Former Director of Global Public Policy at Google.
Andy Moss is currently a Visiting Professor at NYU Tandon teaching entrepreneurship and innovation, as well developing the COR Methodology. He’s an active advisor/mentor to startups and business leaders, and a former Microsoft executive.
Chelsea Raiten is Of Counsel at Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP. Her practice primarily focuses on providing strategic advice and counseling to employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring and firing practices, layoffs and RIF’s, wage and hour laws, reasonable accommodation, leaves of absence, employee discipline, restrictive covenants, and workplace policies and procedures.
Harper Reed is helping lead the Task Force’s contact-tracing/exposure-notification initiative. Harper is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and was the CTO of Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Mona Sloane is an NYU-based sociologist working on inequality in the context of AI design and policy. At NYU, she helps form NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and is Co-Principal Investigator on the COVID-19 Tech Project. Mona also leads the project Terra Incognita: Mapping NYC’s New Digital Public Spaces in the COVID-19 Outbreak.
Connor Spelliscy is Director of New Platforms at Hangar, a partner at Connectivity Fund, and helps lead COVID-19 Tech Task Force initiatives.
Minerva Tantoco has served in senior technology roles at Palm, Merrill Lynch, and UBS, holds four US patents on intelligent workflow, and served as New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer. Most recently, Tantoco co-founded Grasshopper Bank, an OCC-chartered digital de novo commercial bank, and is currently a consultant and speaker on AI, smart cities, digital transformation, and equity in tech.
Randall Thomas is assisting Resolve to Save Lives and other stakeholders with the New York State response to COVID-19. Randall is the CTO of Geometer, a technology incubator.
Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law and computer science, and co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Jonathan’s work focuses on topics including control of digital property, privacy frameworks and the roles of intermediaries in internet architecture.
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg is the Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Dr. Hamburg previously held the post of Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and served as Commissioner of Health for the City of New York.
As riders prepare to start riding the trains again during New York City’s initial reopening, the safety of public transit is a big question.
Officials fear disastrous gridlock if people turn to cars because they remain concerned about getting the coronavirus on the subway and other public transit.
The unpredictability of life during the pandemic has been hard on everyone, but it has caused particular stress for many college students.
The borough has the city’s highest rates of virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Could more have been done?
The United States is facing a shortage of bicycles as anxiety over public transportation and a desire to exercise has sent the demand surging.
Appointment viewing is back. Find out what online events to look for today, and when to tune in.
People taking widely used medicines did not face higher rates of infection or more severe illness, new research indicates.
Nurses from N.Y.U. Langone Health describe the toll the coronavirus is taking on their patients, and on themselves.
Inexpensive deals abound, and coupled with newly relaxed change and cancellation policies, some travelers are seeing little to no risk in pointing, clicking and purchasing.
In a stirring, ragged ritual, the students took their oaths as new doctors early, volunteering in the war against Covid-19.
There are already critical shortages: A Bronx hospital is running out of ventilators. In Brooklyn, doctors are reusing masks.
One after the other, like dominoes, colleges announced that because of coronavirus fears, they were suspending classes and asking students to pack up and go.