Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has amended and consolidated its RNAi-based drug-development deals with Merck into a single ongoing collaboration in order to give Merck a more active role in the development process, signaling an increased commitment by the big pharma in RNAi as a therapeutic modality.

Alnylam noted that, under the new deal, it could receive milestone payments of more than $120 million based on the successful commercialization of three RNAi drugs solely by Merck.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.