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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 June 2018
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 JUNE 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek scientist heads new discovery into understanding aggression Stefanos Stagkourakis and his team’s findings contribute to a new understanding of the biological mechanisms behind aggressive behaviour A Greek scientist has made an exciting new discovery surrounding the biological mechanism that underpins aggressive behaviour in humans. Titled 'A Neural Network for Intermale Aggression to Establish Social Hierarchy' and published in scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, the study conducted on male mice was led by Christian Broberger with lead author Stefanos Stagkourakis and a group of researchers from medical university Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Through their observations they have shed light on the previously mysterious group of brain cells that are linked to aggression and subsequent reactions, and even managed to manipulate the aggression response by inhibiting and activating the neurons. The group of neurons located in the ventral premammillary nucleus (PMv) of the hypothalamus, which controls many of our fundamental drives, plays a key role in initiating aggressive behaviour. During the study, researchers noted the mice become aggressive when a new male mouse was placed in their cage, resulting in an increase in active PMv neurons. The team then manually activated the PMv neurons through optogenetics - a form of light used to control cells in living tissue - and as a result manipu- lated the initiation of aggressive behaviour in situations where the mice would not normally instinctively attack, while on the other hand, they were also able to inhibit the PMv to stop an attack. Meanwhile the team also noted that PMv neurons had the ability to activate other parts of the brain, including reward centres, which Stagkourakis said could explain why mice naturally make their way to a place where they have experienced an aggressive situation. "We also found that the brief activation of the PMv cells could trigger a protracted outburst, which may explain something we all recognise – how after a quarrel has ended, the feeling of antagonism can persist for a long time," he said. The team hopes their findings will add to the knowledge surrounding aggressive behaviour and the origins of violence to assist with or, better yet, avoid lasting mental trauma and the costly structural and economic consequences on society. Stagkourakis graduated from the University General Hospital of Heraklion's department of Neurology. He went on to pursue studies at the Karolinska Institutet's department of Neuroscience, and now conducts research on the neural control of innate and learnt animal behaviour. Pregnant employee ‘too sick to work’ found holidaying in Greece The woman was busted sunbathing, eating, swimming in the sea, and playing volleyball by a colleague through a mutual friend on Facebook A mum-to-be who told her employer she was too sick to work has been spotted holidaying in Greece. The woman in question had been on sick leave for five weeks citing hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a severe and chronic form of morning sickness, as the reason for her leave when she was busted by a colleague through a mutual friend on Facebook. The colleague took to a parenting forum to raise the matter, and to seek advice as to what she should do with her newfound information. "By complete coincidence she is Facebook friends with a friend of mine," the woman wrote. "My friend has put some pictures on Facebook this morning of [the] Greek holiday she's still on, and my work colleague is in most of them; sunbathing, eating, swimming in the sea, playing volleyball. She has obviously blocked me as she is tagged in the pictures but her name is unclickable. "I'm gonna sound like a complete cow but I think she's faking her sickness," Meanwhile a host of other users advised the woman to reveal the images to management. "She is a piss-taker, show she said. The woman went on to express her concerns about the financial pressures the leave had placed upon the company, and team. "She's on full pay from work and we're having to pay an agency temp to cover her work too. It's a small company that is struggling and I doubt we're going to make any profit this month due to this," she added. A number of women who spotted the post on the forum were all too familiar with the experience of HG during their pregnancies, and confirmed that it was very unlikely that the woman was suffering from it given her activities. "I had hyperemesis with dd [darling daughter]," one woman wrote. "Getting on a flight? Vol- leyball? I couldn't get out of bed without being sick. I went down to six-and-ahalf stone (41 kg) and had to have iron injections. This woman may have had morning sickness, but clearly a very mild case indeed of hyperemesis." "If she has hyperemesis there is no way on earth she would have had the energy or ability to get to the airport let alone get on a plane and play volleyball!" said another woman, who revealed that she was currently suffering from HG and had been in and out of hospital. your boss the photos," urged one. "Take screenshots and show the boss," another said. "People doing things like this are a big part of the reason why sick pay is shit and women's pregnancy symptoms are doubted imo [in my opinion]. It's her own fault." According to a report on news.com.au, the woman has since taken onboard the advice, and told her boss about her colleague's holiday in Greece. Taking sick leave for reasons other than genuinely being ill is a common occurrence. A survey conducted by software company TSheets earlier this year revealed only 52 per cent of workers in Australia are being genuine when they take a sick day, with almost half using the leave to take a long weekend, spend time with friends and family, enjoy a day at the beach, or to go to a job interview. WHO reveals four in 10 Greek children ‘overweight’ The findings were revealed by the World Health Organization’s European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative at a conference in Vienna New data has revealed that four in 10 children in Greece are considered overweight. The findings, which relate to the period 2015 to 2017, were presented last week in Vienna by the World Health Organization's (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) at a conference of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. When it comes to over- weight children, Greece has emerged with one of the worst records in Europe. Among primary school age children, 42 per cent of boys and 38 per cent of girls are overweight, with 20 per cent of boys and 14 per cent of girls classified as obese. Overall in the region, when it comes to boys, Cyprus has the highest percentage of children that are overweight, with 43 per cent of primary school age boys overweight. Joining Greece in second place are Italy and Spain, with 42 per cent of boys overweight. Cyprus also has the highest number of young girls that are overweight with 43 per Una faccia, una razza, una crisi In a strange turn of events, Greece stopped being the 'black sheep' of the European Union last week, with the role going to Italy. The country is under a long period of political turmoil and uncertainty, which culminated in Italian president Sergio Mattarella's decision to veto Stefanos Stagkourakis. PHOTO: CISION the populist coalition's choice of finance minister. Instead of a compromise, the left-populist Five Star Movement and the right-populist league are bracing for another snap election. As a result of this, Italy is now facing a spike in bond yields, but the after-effect al- ready reached Greece. On Tuesday, the price of the 10-year bond dived, with its yield coming close to five percent – a level not seen since last November – to close at 4.8 per cent, with a daily rise of 7.6 per cent. This was seen as an indicator of the way political devel- opments in Italy might play out against the Greek government's plan to go forward with a 'clean exit' from the bailout program in August. Analysts expect the cost of borrowing to soar again for Greece, which is always an easy target when the eurozone hits a snag. cent. Spain is second with 41 per cent, while Greece and Italy are equal third with 38 per cent. While the figures are concerning, COSI did highlight that they are noticing a trend in a more positive direction in Greece, with the rates of being overweight and obese among young children dropping.
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