Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week announced that the European Patent Office has upheld one of the company's RNAi-related patents in oral proceedings held before the office's opposition board.

The patent, No. EP 1352061, was the first to be granted in Europe from the company's so-called Kreutzer-Limmer II patent family.

The company said that the patent, which includes claims covering methods of silencing about 130 genes using siRNAs of up to 49 nucleotides in length, had been challenged by Merck subsidiary Sirna Therapeutics.

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Researchers suggest that genetic variations could influence the side effects people experience when using synthetic cannabinoids, the International Business Times reports.

An analysis has examined the makeup of researchers on Twitter and what they share, Nature News reports.

At Stat News, Jim Kozubek argues that the Broad Institute is pushing the boundary of what a nonprofit is.

In PNAS this week: gut microbes may affect honeybee weight, phenotype and gene expression changes in DiGeorge syndrome, and more.