Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Leads To A Breakthrough
The charity stunt, known as the ice bucket challenge, funded ALS research through donations from participants. This research carried out, led to the discovery of a new ALS gene.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral craze in the Summer of 2014. The challenge was to pour a bucket of ice water over your head and nominate 3 other people to do the challenge. If you refuse to do it, you would have to donate $100 to the ALS charity. You could do the challenge and still donate as well. There were many celebrities that did the challenge, including Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates and many more.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Motor Neurone Disease or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The disease is fatal and rapidly deteriorates the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Over $100 million was raised during the craze. $1 million of the money raise was contributed to MinE. MinE do a lot of research with thousands of people with ALS. This has led to the discovery of a new ALS gene. This gene is a common gene that contributes to the disease.
This discovery has given scientists another potential way of treating the disease.
Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist for the ALS Association had this to say: “The discovery of NEK1 highlights the value of ‘big data’ in ALS research”
“The sophisticated gene analysis that led to this finding was only possible because of the large number of ALS samples available.
“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to invest in Project MinE’s work to create large biorepositories of ALS biosamples that are designed to allow exactly this kind of research and to produce exactly this kind of result.”
Dr. Bruijn also said that the money, which was contributed, was a big part of the success of the research.