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Remember The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ 6 Years Ago? Well, It Funded A Major Scientific Discovery

Mark Andrew

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Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014? Yes, that viral activity that involves dumping a bucket full of water and ice on an individual’s head in an attempt to increase awareness about the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease and to raise funds for it.

Although many naysayers thought that the said social media phenomenon was nothing more than “slacktivism,” it now looks like all these critics have just been proven wrong. Why? Well, the “crazy” trend eventually funded a major breakthrough research in ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became popular in social media back in 2014.
als ice bucket challenge
The awareness campaign raised $100 million and part of which was used to fund the Project MinE research.
als ice bucket challenge 4

Thanks to the $100 million raised by the successful online campaign, the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Project MinE has successfully identified NEK1 as the gene that directly causes the disease. The discovery was recently published in Nature Genetics.

In the United States, more than 5,000 people are diagnosed with ALS every year.
als ice bucket challenge 2

According to experts, over 5,000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year in the United States alone. Fortunately, the new discovery will possibly lead to better treatment of ALS in the future.

The discovery of NEK1 as the gene that directly causes ALS can potentially lead to better treatment of the disease.
als ice bucket challenge 1

Bernard Muller, founder of Project MinE, said:

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world. This transatlantic collaboration supports our global gene hunt to identify the genetic drivers of ALS.”

This, of course, is a big step towards helping patients. Currently, most people who suffer from the disease die at least within 2 to 5 years following diagnosis. ALS aggressively attacks the nerve cells of the body which control the voluntary muscles. Although no cure is still available for ALS, the discovery of NEK1 is surely something significant for researchers.

Funniest Ice Bucket Challenge Fails

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