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Sirna Shareholders OK Merck Acquisition; Firm Alters Closing Expectation Date

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Sirna Therapeutics yesterday said its shareholders have approved Merck’s bid to acquire the company.
 
Sirna said the deal, subject to customary closing conditions, is “expected to close as soon as reasonably practicable.” Earlier in December the company said the acquisition “may close as early as this month.” The deal was originally slated to close by the first quarter of 2007.
  
Merck announced its plans to acquire Sirna for $1.1 billion in cash on Oct. 30. The deal is noteworthy for RNAi technology companies because Sirna, through principally a drug-discovery company, has said in the past that it would license its IP. It is not clear whether they have to date, or whether the Merck acquisition will help or hinder this goal.
 
The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.