NEW YORK, May 30 - Some two-dozen companies have taken licenses already to the patents held by Carnegie Institution and University of Massachusetts for the RNAi inventions of Andy Fire and Craig Mello - the first RNAi inventions to be awarded USPTO protection. So when BD Biosciences Clontech issued a press release this week to announce that it had jumped on the bandwagon, the statement seemed innocuous. But one loaded line in the release hints at the battle brewing over RNAi intellectual property.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.