BioCommerce Week Index companies spent at least $13 billion on 13 M&A deals during the first half of 2006 (see table) — compared with at least $2 billion on 13 deals in last year's first half. But the size and expected upshot of a couple of these transactions on the broader life sciences market are expected to push others to follow suit.

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A new study finds that a placental protein linked with preeclampsia can be targeted by RNA silencing, according to the New Scientist.

A settlement is expected in a Duke University lawsuit hinging on using falsified data to win grants, Retraction Watch and Science report.

In PNAS this week: approach for analyzing the expression of endogenous retroviruses, circular RNAs that influence host-virus interactions, and more.

A phylogenetic analysis finds that the rare hemimastigotes form their own supra-kingdom, CBC reports.