Regulus Therapeutics, a microRNA drugs joint venture between Isis Pharmaceuticals and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, said this week that it has been notified that the US Patent and Trademark Office has allowed a patent application within one of the company's patent families.

The patent application, No. 20050261218 and titled "Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Modulation [of] Small Non-Coding RNAs," claims methods of inhibiting the liver-specific miRNA miR-122, which has been shown to play a role in hepatitis C virus replication.

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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.