Family News & Events

Family News & Events Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier Photo: Alexander Heinl/
The Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association welcome Irish funding

The chairman of NIMMA has welcomed “well-timed funding” from the Irish Government, one of the Associations most consistent funders.

The Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs has pledged a total of €5000 to help cover some of NIMMA’s running costs. Chairman Ken Dunn said, “We are delighted that our friends in the Republic have come on board once again. They recognise the importance of our work and its impact on reconciliation and tolerance in this part of the world. This timely backing will allow us to maintain our pastoral care of individuals and couples through-out the island.

“There is still so much work to be done before we can fulfil our own mission statement of winding up the Association when NIMMA is no longer required.”

The Association, which has struggled due to the pandemic, also received funding from The Souter Trust, The Esme Mitchell Trust and The William A. Cadbury Charitable Trust.

Consistency in the time you exercise may keep off the pounds, study finds

The key to exercising consistently and keeping off the pounds may be as simple as setting the same time of day for your exercise and sticking to the schedule, according to a recent study in the journal Obesity.

Researchers from Brown Alpert Medical School looked at the exercise habits of 375 individuals who exercise regularly, and found that people who set the same time of day for their exercise spent notably more time exercising per week than people who set random times of day.

The researchers concluded that “exercising at the same time of day, regardless of whether it is during the morning, afternoon, or evening, may help with achieving higher” levels of physical activity.

First author Leah Schumacher, PhD, said that future research should look into “whether there is a specific time of day that is more advantageous for individuals who have initial low physical activity levels to develop a physical activity habit”.


Gene-editing tool wins the chemistry Nobel

Developing a means to cut DNA precisely has earned Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Only five women have won the prize before, and the pairs work has “revolutionized the life sciences”, according to PernillaWittung-Stafshede, a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

“Only imagination sets the limits for what this chemical tool … can be used for in the future. Perhaps the dream of curing genetic diseases will come true,” she continued.

The pair’s work has essentially created a “genetic scissors” which can cut a gene in any place with great precision and it has already been used to reprogram human immune cells to fight cancer.

However, Doudna has already warned of the ethical implications of the creation. There are fears that the door is already open to “designer babies”, health care inequalities and other abuses.

“This enormous power of this technology means that we need to use it with great care,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.