UC Berkeley
Serial Predator Strikes Again

Police are intensifying their search for a man who has sexually assaulted 19 women near the Berkeley campus.

The predator – who targets almost exclusively college-aged women in skirts – generally approaches his victims from behind, lifts their dresses and attempts to penetrate them with his finger. At least seven of the victims were assaulted after leaving fraternity parties, and two more women reported attacks this weekend alone.

In response to the growing number of assaults, police have upped their patrols in south Berkeley and publicly distributed a composite sketch.

The perpetrator – who police call a “prolific sexual deviant” – is unusual since he has focused on only a small area and has carried out his attacks in a pattern, officers said.

Several women’s organizations will be holding a rally tomorrow on the Berkeley campus, and the Daily Cal reports that attendants are encouraged to wear skirts.

UC San Francisco
Rat Rehab

A study recently conducted on ‘alcoholic’ rodents revealed that a drug designed to treat infertility and menstrual disorders has the capability to curb alcoholism.

Researchers at the UCSF-affiliated Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center exposed a group of rodents to a rigorous two-month binge drinking training program, during which the rats were taught to press an alcohol-dispensing lever.

After the rodents had developed an alcohol dependency problem, researchers injected the rats with the hormone disorder drug Cabergoline.

Researchers found that rats injected with the drug were less likely to frequent the booze dispenser and that the higher the dosage of the drug, the fewer times the rodents hit the bottle. In addition to curbing consumption habits in binge drinking rats, the drug also proved successful in preventing the alcoholic relapse.

According to Dr. Dorit Ron, a principal investigator at the Gallo Center and associate professor of neurology at UCSF, while human clinical trials are necessary to determine whether Cabergoline can be safely prescribed, the study has concrete results.

“We show that in mice and rats, a low dose of the drug is enough to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol seeking and relapse,” Ron said.

UC Santa Cruz
FBI Takes Down Animal Rights Activists on Terrorism Charges

Federal authorities recently arrested four animal rights activists on suspicion of terrorizing UC researchers.

The FBI said the arrests of the four individuals stemmed from a series of aggressive pro-animal incidents, including protests in front of professors’ homes and attempted home invasion attacks.

Those arrested include Adriana Stumpo, 23, of Long Beach; Nathan Pope, 26, of Oceanside; Joseph Buddenberg, 25, of Berkeley; and Maryam Khajavi, 20, of Pinole.

The four were charged with using force, violence or threats to interfere with the operation of the UC in violation of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

According to police, Pope, Stump and Khajavi were also accused of forcing their way into the home of a Santa Cruz researcher and hitting the professor’s husband with an object.

The activists are also charged with harassing UC Berkeley researchers at their homes.

However, no one has been charged in the case of the July firebombings of two UCSC scientists’ homes.