Ice Bucket Challenge Funds Discovery
You remember the videos—hundreds of celebrities and thousands of regular people dumping buckets full of ice water over their heads and challenging family and friends to do the same and donate money to the ALS Association. Many became cynical of the idea, dismissing the notion that the Ice Bucket Challenge could ever have an impact. But now, 2 years later, it has.
The campaign raised $100 million in just 30 days, funding a number of research projects. This week, researchers announced the discovery of a gene associated with ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease—which could lead to new treatments for the devastating neurological disorder.
ALS can be inherited or sporadic and the new gene, NEK1, is found in 3% of causes of both types of the disease. There is no cure for ALS and, according to researchers, the discovery of the gene is important, “because it helps us understand what’s triggering this and can help us better find a treatment.”
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