Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Regulus Therapeutics, a joint venture between Alnylam and Isis Pharmaceuticals, said this week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a patent application covering several chemical classes of antisense-based microRNA antagonists.

The application, No. 20060058266, is entitled "Chemically modified oligonucleotides," and claims "composition and methods for making and using chemically modified oligonucleotide agents for inhibiting gene expression," according to its abstract.

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In Science this week: swapping yeast genes with human orthologs to study conservation of function, and more.

Hong Kong is using DNA phenotyping to shame litterers.

A study appearing in Cell suggests some metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients could benefit from PARP inhibitor therapy.

NIH's Francis Collins writes that scientific advances are poised to help populations all over the world, but more scientists are needed to keep the momentum.