In The World—April 19, 2015

April 19, 2015 No Comments »
In The World—April 19, 2015

By Christy Barritt

Britain in Favor of Three-Parent Babies

Members of British Parliament voted in favor of a bill that paves the way for the creation of three-parent babies who would contain DNA from two women and one man. Some say this is a way of tackling genetic diseases, while others question the ethics of such a practice.

The process involves combining the healthy DNA from a female donor into the mother’s egg to replace defective mitochondrial DNA. Researchers believe this could prevent children from being born with hereditary conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

The Church of England has cited concerns about this process because of insufficient scientific study and not enough informed consultation into the ethics of the practice. A vote at the House of Lords is needed before the bill becomes law, but proponents said they expect it to pass, with the first babies being born in 2016.

High School Custodian Goes Above and Beyond

Custodian Charles Clark has been working at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas, for 25 years. But his focus is on more than just making the bathrooms look sparkling.

“All my life, I’ve always asked God to give me a job where I can make a difference and help people,” he told the Huffington Post.

If Clark sees someone at the school who doesn’t have a father figure, he tries to fill that void by mentoring and sharing his wisdom with the student. As a result, every Father’s Day Clark gets a mailbox full of cards from past students whose lives he’s impacted.

In 2013, Clark beat out educators and school employees from across the country when he won the national “Life Changer of the Year” Award. School principal Stephanie Millar said in his nomination letter, “When former students come back, the majority go to see Charles first.” This year the story of Clark’s caring heart has been featured again on other national news outlets.

Updated Sleep Guidelines

The National Sleep Foundation brought in 18 leading scientists and researchers to form an expert panel, which was tasked with updating the official recommendations concerning the amount of sleep people need in different stages of life. Though research cannot pinpoint the exact amount of sleep needed by individuals, the organization used its study to develop minimum and maximum ranges, as well as recommended windows.

Newborns (0-3 months) should sleep an average of 14-17 hours each day. Previously it was 12-18. Infants (4-11 months) need 12-15 hours, Toddlers (1-2 years) need 11-14 hours, Preschoolers (3-5) need 10-13 hours, School Age Children (6-13) need 9-11 hours, and Teenagers (14-17) need 8-10 hours—all of those groups saw their previously recommended ranges of sleep widened by one hour.

The NSF added two new categories this year: Younger Adults (18-25), who need 7-9 hours of sleeep, and Older Adults (65+), who need 7-8 hours. The sleep range for Adults (ages 26-64) didn’t change, remaining 7-9 hours.

Atheist Makes Living Selling Bible App

An atheist living in California is making more than $100,000 a year off a Spanish Bible iPhone app he created in an attempt to earn extra income to help him pay his rent.

Trevor McKendrick is a former Mormon turned atheist. Though the Bible app he created has generated more income than he ever imagined, he faces a moral dilemma because he’s selling a book he doesn’t believe to be true.

He developed the idea while trying to come up with an alternate form of income. While searching through popular apps, he noticed that the Spanish Bible apps were highly rated and making a lot of money, yet the apps themselves were poor quality. He saw an opportunity and was successful at the program he developed.

McKendrick said that he feels guilty when he gets emails and prayer requests from users of the app. However, he will continue to sell the app.

c_barrittChristy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia ( She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.

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