By Doug Macron

Although Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and the Max Planck Institute contend in a lawsuit that the US Patent and Trademark Office is poised to issue a patent from the Tuschl-I intellectual property portfolio, the defendants in the case argued this week that this expectation is mere speculation.

For this and other reasons, the defendants told the court, Alnylam and Max Planck's request for a court order essentially blocking any kind of Tuschl-I patent issuance is unnecessary and potentially damaging.

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A fire at a Manchester hospital may have destroyed lab equipment and data, the Guardian reports.

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