LOS ANGELES, CA - Remember when your Facebook timeline was covered with videos of your friends dumping buckets of ice water over their heads and how silly that seemed? Well it turns out this internet sensation actually gathered enough funds to make a breakthrough in ALS research.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Project MinE recently discovered the gene that is responsible for ALS after scientists were able to research this gene with the help from the $1 million donated from the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The identified gene is NEK1, which its variants may provide clues to understanding and potentially treating familial and sporadic ALS.
The internet, viral videos and Facebook challenges are an incredibly helpful form of community outreach and a fast way to raise awareness.
Bernard Muller, founder of Project MinE and ALS patient, said in a statement, “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.”
So don’t be shy next time you get nominated, go ahead and dump a bucket of ice on your head for ALS. Do the running man with your local police officers to help with their community outreach, and don’t shave your mustache for the month of November to raise awareness for men’s health issues. You are helping more than you know.