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New York Academy of Sciences, Qiagen, Cytrx, Allele, Amersham, European Union for RNA Interference Technology


CombiMatrix has introduced a program, called siRNA Solutions, offering customers and collaborators an integrated siRNA gene silencing service for drug discovery. SiRNA Solutions will enable researchers to design and synthesize custom siRNA pools, and help researchers design, conduct, validat, and reiterate gene silencing experiments in days for any gene in any organism, the company said.


Dharmacon introduced last week new siRNAs, called On-Target, in which the sense strand of the oligo has been inactivated but the efficacy of the antisense strand maintained.

“SiRNAs are not as specific as we thought they were, so there are off-target effects and the siRNA can hit multiple genes,” Steve Scaringe, Dharmacon’s co-chairman and chief scientific officer, said. “What this product does is address perhaps one of the … major causes of non-specific effects.” Scaringe said that Dharmacon found that “putting a couple [of] modifications on the five prime end” of the dsRNA’s sense strand would inactivate it, keep the antisense strand functional, and reduce by half the potential for off-target effects.

Additionally, On-Target will carry a slightly higher price tag than Dharmacon’s regular siRNAs, roughly $75 more per order regardless of unit size, so while it may be useful to some people, others may be satisfied with what they have already and not willing to pay the extra cost, he said.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.