News In Brief

Sexual Assault in Mesa Court Parking Lot
A ZotAlert was released at 4:15 a.m. Sunday morning detailing a sexual assault that had occurred at about 1:30 a.m. in the Mesa Court parking lot.
The ZotAlert described the suspect as male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 180 pounds and wearing dark jeans. He was last seen heading from Mesa Court to University drive and carrying a sharp object.

Murdered Professor Barrett’s Toxicology Reports Released
Newly released toxicology reports show that former UC Riverside and UC Irvine professor Lindon Barrett was strangled to death in his apartment.
Found dead in his Long Beach apartment on July 13, Barrett was missing for several days before neighbors noticed a foul smell and informed the police. The reports also showed that Barrett had marijuana and alcohol in his system when he died.
Police had originally taken into custody 21-year-old Marlon Martinez, who was found near Barrett’s missing car around 10 miles from the apartment. Martinez, who pleaded not guilty, is still being held without bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles.
Both UCR and UCI have commemorative memorial services for the professor this week. The UCR memorial is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside. A memorial will be held on the UCI campus from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Phineas Banning Alumni House.

Patterns of Brain Aging Defy Scientific Expectations
The “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” published a study on Sept. 22 by UC Irvine researchers Carl Cotman and Nicole Berchtold showing that male brains begin atrophying sooner than female brains. The new study also shows that the types of genes that are changing are different in male and female brains.
Using a collection of brains from individuals ranging between the ages of 20 and 99, who died from various causes, researchers examined the hippocampus, the entorhinal cortex, the postcentral gyrus and the superior frontal gyrus. Expecting to find the most changes in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, researchers were surprised to find that these areas underwent the least changes. Instead, the postcentral gyrus, which houses the sense of perception, changed the most.
Studies also showed steady gene patterns in age groups. Gene activity is very similar in people aged 20 to 59 and people 60 to 99.
Gender differences showed that genes controlling energy production are less active in male brains and begin slowing down earlier, around age 60, resulting in slower metabolism. However, gene activity stabilizes and stops declining after age 80.
On the other hand, female brains begin changing later, but do not stop changing as the women age. Their brains show a drop in energy production as well, but not as much as the drop in energy production for men.
Researchers point out that consistent exercise is a good way to ensure that metabolic genes in the brain remain strong.