Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week disclosed that a jury trial for its trade secret litigation with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is expected to begin Nov. 14.

In the disclosure, which was made concurrent with the Alnylam's release of its third-quarter financial results, the RNAi drug shop noted that its 2012 financial guidance of roughly $280 million in year-end cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities does not include the impact of payments that could be made in connection with the resolution of the litigation.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

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Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.