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With a population of almost 3 million people, Long Island is home to over 20 colleges and universities, including the United States Merchant Marine Academy, one of the five United States service academies. While many natives choose to pursue higher education away from home, almost 150,000 people from Long Island, and around the world, study here.

In addition to its colleges and universities, Long Island is home to two world renowned research laboratories, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Brookhaven, operated by the United States Department of Energy in conjunction with Stony Brook University, is the only U.S. government laboratory in the Northeast. Cold Spring Harbor is notable as the location where James Watson's co-discovery of the structure of DNA was first publicly described in 1953. Watson would later go on to become director of the lab.


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