New Weight Loss Method for Women
UCSD — A groundbreaking procedure now allows obese individuals to remove 80 percent of their fatty mass with a minimally invasive procedure. There is one catch, however: the overweight individual must be a female.

The surgery, classified as a “natural orifice” technique, was developed by a team of UCSD scientists. The procedure marks the first successful sleeve gastrectomy ever conducted in the United States.

The 75-minute procedure removes a significant portion of the stomach, leaving only a slender moon-shaped intestine. As a result, patients are prevented from consuming excessive calories and undergo dramatic weight loss.

Maria Soto, a 5-foot, 253-pound 29-year-old, was the first patient to undergo the minimally invasive vaginal procedure.

“I chose this surgery because I needed to lose weight and wanted a procedure that offered less pain and fast healing,” Soto said in a press release.

This process, conducted by the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery, is the newest breakthrough in a number of natural orifice clinical trials conducted by Doctor Santiago Horgan and his surgical team. Previous surgeries include the removal of an appendix through the mouth, as well as the removal of an appendix through the vagina.

Six Found Dead in Murder-Suicide
UCLA — Krishna Rajaram, a UCLA undergraduate student, was found dead Monday with his family in what authorities are calling a murder-suicide.

The Los Angeles Police Department discovered the second-year business economics major in the master bedroom of his family’s home in Porter Ranch, CA. LAPD officials said Rajaram was murdered by his father, Karthik Rajaram, who also killed his wife, his mother-in-law, his two other sons and himself.

The shootings occurred on Saturday at 6 p.m. Concerned family friends contacted the police on Monday after Subasri Rajaram, Krishna’s mother, did not show up for a carpool to work.

All the victims were shot in the head and some also had multiple gunshot wounds, LAPD officials said.

Krishna’s father was a financial adviser who had been previously employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sony Pictures, but had been out of work for several months. Authorities said he had prepared three suicide letters detailing his financial difficulties and personal troubles. The letters also indicated he carried out the killings.

Improper Dumping Leads to Pollution
UC DAVIS — Despite their long commitment to environmentalism, UC Davis has been found guilty of polluting a local water source.

Fined for nearly $78,000 by the Central Valley Water Board, UC Davis was found guilty on 34 different counts of pollution in local Putah Creek. The violations, which span over an eight-year period dating back to 2000, were for excessive levels of aluminum, chlorine, copper, cyanide, coliform, salinity, sediment and acidity in the creek.

Putah Creek is a 70-mile long rivulet that flows through the UC Davis Arboretum. The creek is also a popular fishing and boating destination for locals.

According to UC Davis Spokesperson Andy Fell, UC Davis will not contest the fines. The campus attributes 12 of the violations to major storms and has since upgraded its wastewater treatment plant, Fell said.

The chemicals in the creek may have come from campus labs that did not dispose chemicals properly, Fell said. However, Fell said if that was not the case, “there is no explanation where they came from.”

Student Allegedly Tries to Make Meth
UC MERCED — A former UC Merced graduate student charged with stealing UC laboratory material to cook methamphetamine pleaded no contest in court last month.

Jason West, a former doctoral student in chemistry, was arrested in August for stealing more than $10,000 worth of lab equipment and chemicals, according to the Merced Sun-Star. West pleaded no contest to charges of felony conspiracy to make methamphetamines and embezzlement.

According to initial reports, West was using his expertise in chemistry to create an enhanced version of meth that would have been easier to produce. However, attorneys downplayed the “super meth” story and called West’s attempts to create new methamphetamines “delusions of grandeur.”

According to the Sun-Star, West conducted most of his research off-campus, though he was a teaching assistant in undergrad chemistry classes. West was also one of the first students at Merced to qualify for a doctorate in chemistry, according to The Associated Press.

Charges of grand theft and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamines were dropped under the plea agreement, and West will be available for parole.