Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week announced that the Japanese Patent Office has upheld certain key claims within the company's Tuschl-II patent during invalidation proceedings initiated at the request of Bio Think-Tank, a Japanese company.

Silence Therapeutics said last week that it has received a Japanese patent covering methods for screening a therapeutic agent to treat diseases, such as cancer, related to increased Pl3-kinase pathway activity.

The patent claims siRNAs containing proprietary 2’-O-methyl structures.

The patent covers a proprietary nucleic acid condensing and delivery peptide motif, as well as its use with therapeutic nucleic acids.

According to Alnylam, the patent "includes 38 claims broadly covering compositions, methods, uses, and systems for double-stranded RNAs."

The patent application — 2003-532675 — is owned by the Max Planck Institute, but is exclusively licensed to miRNA drug developer and Alnylam/Isis joint venture Regulus Therapeutics.

Berkeley researchers have engineered yeast to make the molecule behind the hoppy taste of beer, Quartz reports.

King's College London researchers examine the influence of school type and genetics on academic achievement.

FiveThirtyEight writes that most who take a direct-to-consumer BRCA1/2 genetic test won't learn much from it.

In Science this week: early life experience influence somatic variation in the genome, and more.