The US Patent and Trademark Office is holding two hearings — one this week and other in March — to gather information on "independent second opinion genetic diagnostic testing" on genes that are already patented or exclusively licensed by other companies, reports Patent Docs' Donald Zuhn. USPTO is planning to gather the information it receives from the hearings and make a report to Congress.

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A former Synthetic Genomics attorney alleges that the firm discriminated against her and other female employees, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Due to privacy and lab certification questions, the planned giveaway of Orig3n testing kits at a Baltimore Ravens game was suspended.

Alnylam reports positive results from its phase 3 clinical trial of an RNAi-based drug, according to Stat News.

In Cell this week: adult mesenchymal cell populations in mouse lung, genetic diversity in HPV16 and cancer risk protection, and more.