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Although the suit was first filed last summer, the courtroom showdown had been brewing for years.

The suit, filed by Alnylam and Max Planck against the University of Massachusetts, MIT, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is set to go to trial Feb. 22.

Conditions that will be a focus of the deal include age-related macular degeneration, RXi said.

"I've been absolutely blown away by the microRNA field and the way it's blossomed," University of Massachusetts Medical School researcher and Nobel laureate Craig Mello said. "There is just one story after another [showing that] microRNAs … are very critical to many aspects of either disease or development."

The RTI hopes to create synergies between investigators focused on basic science researchers and those oriented towards the clinic by putting them in the same space. At the same time, the institute aims to foster research that encompasses all RNA-related pathways, not just RNAi.

Russian and American researchers reported today that Alexei and Anastasia Romanov carried a mutation in the blood coagulation factor gene F9 that causes hemophilia B, or "Christmas disease."

While the funding will directly benefit UMMS researcher Michael Czech, it is also expected to be a boon for RXi Pharmaceuticals, which Czech co-founded, since the company holds an exclusive license to the delivery technology for therapeutic RNAi applications.

The USPTO said that since the co-assignees of the Tuschl-I IP “have divergent interests, no one side can reasonably expect or be permitted to control the prosecution of [the] patent application [at issue] to the exclusion of the others.”

The court determined that Alnylam and Max Planck have “not shown a substantial likelihood of success” on the merits of their case.

UMass further argued in its counterclaim that a key aspect of the disputed RNAi technology — the 3’ overhangs commonly incorporated into siRNAs — was an inherent feature of the RNAi molecules described in a patent application filed prior to another patent application from Max Planck that specifically claims the overhangs.

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US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins says he will avoid male-only speaker panels.

Two patients fell ill, and one subsequently died, following a fecal microbiome transplant that harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria, according to the New York Times.

Technology Review reports that eGenesis is testing whether organs from genetically modified pigs can be transplanted into monkeys.

In Science this week: almond reference genome, and more.