Here's a roundup of some of the science policy stories we covered this past week on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider .
A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., last week ruled that the sequence of DNA obtained from a known protein is obvious and therefore unpatentable. The court was ruling on a case, In re Kubin, involving a patented gene sequence for the human immune protein NAIL, owned by Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California. The judges ruled that it took no original insight to work out the gene's code. The decision  is the latest blow to gene patents, which are facing increased scrutiny.
A scientist targeted by animal-rights extremists is taking to the streets to rally support for research using animals. In March, animal-rights terrorists burned the car of University of California, Los Angeles, neuroscientist J. David Jentsch, the latest in a string of such attacks on UCLA faculty. Now Jentsch has founded a chapter of Pro-Test, a British group supportive of animal research. A rally at UCLA on 22 April coincides with a planned animal-rights rally elsewhere on campus, but Jentsch says he is not looking for a confrontation .
News that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's new batch of 50 early-career awards includes only nine women is causing a stir among those working to broaden participation in science. The institute says its decisions were based strictly on scientific merit and notes that only a quarter of the applicants were women .
Elsewhere ... Oceanographers took issue with recent reports that a German-Indian experiment to fertilize the ocean with iron  shows the technique can't work. The nomination of a new Census director  drew applause from scientists and criticism from some legislators. ScienceInsider also noted Japanese plans to send a walking robot to study the moon , a new tornado hunting program , plans by Stanford University to publicize payments to faculty members from drug or device firms , and police protection for the head of India's space program  against a possible terrorist attack.
For more stories and the best science policy news on the Web, check out ScienceInsider .