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April 2010
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Tuschl II siRNA Assay
Knock-down of nuclear envelope protein Lamin. Elbashir, Harborth et al. Nature May 24 2001. This assay was proposed by Klaus Weber.

Tid Bits

See Dirk Haussecker’s interesting analysis of the MDRNA - Cequent Pharmaceuticals merger scheduled to close in July 2010.

1. A recent interview (here) of Alan Sachs (head of RNA Therapeutics at Merck) contains an odd statement by Dr. Sachs (not likely a misquote because of the syntax), “Somewhere around the middle of 2006, we realized that Alnylam did a big deal with Roche, and we realized the area was heating up. We needed to do more than a collaboration per se. It ultimately led to the decision to acquire Sirna Therapeutics, which closed at the end of 2006.”

I had it fixed in my mind that there was no public utterance of a deal between Alnylam and Roche until July 9, 2007 especially because Alnylam’s stock rose so dramatically that week. Feeling a little insecure after writing “That’Z amore” with background music by Dean Martin :-) , I went back to check these dates.

As chronicled in “That’Z amore”, first Merck bought Sirna, six months later Alnylam did the deal with Roche, and then two months later Alnylam dumped Merck.

2. In a more recent interview published in March, Dr. Zamore (soon to be a witness) said this (here) : “Tom Tuschl, Phil Sharp, Dave Bartel and I set out to develop an in vitro system that would recapitulate RNAi, allowing its biochemical dissection. Later that year (November 1999), I took up my faculty position at University of Massachusetts Medical School, continuing and expanding our collaborative studies.”

But of course, it is now well documented that Dr. Zamore stayed at the Whitehead until the end of February 2000.

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What is siRNA?
Elbashir etal. (left sidebar): "Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) induces sequence-specific posttranscriptional gene silencing in many organisms by a process known as RNA interference (RNAi) ... 21- and 22-nt RNA fragments are the sequence-specific mediators of RNAi. The short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are generated by an RNase III–like processing reaction from long dsRNA. Chemically synthesized siRNA duplexes with overhanging 3' ends mediate efficient target RNA cleavage ..." and "... (these) 21-nucleotide siRNA duplexes specifically suppress expression of endogenous and heterologous genes in different mammalian cell(s)..."
Next Court Date
Don't know ... but I'll be there! I will be wearing a long gray beard, sunglasses, and a black Amish hat.
US District Court in Boston