Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Research Discoveries Thanks to the "Ice Bucket Challenge"

You may remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from a couple years ago, where people across the internet challenged others to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating neurological condition. People who were challenged could either record themselves dumping ice water on themselves, or make a donation to the ALS Association.

While people criticized this challenge, saying it would be better to simply challenge people to donate - rather than giving them an option to "get out of" giving money to the cause - the challenge actually did raise money.

$115 million, in fact. Which has funded 6 large-scale research projects on ALS. One of these studies has identified a new gene contributing to the disease:
Research by Project MinE, published in Nature Genetics, is the largest-ever study of inherited ALS, also known as motor neurone disease (MND). More than 80 researchers in 11 countries searched for ALS risk genes in families affected by the disease. "The sophisticated gene analysis that led to this finding was only possible because of the large number of ALS samples available," Lucie Bruijn of the ALS Association says. The identification of gene NEK1 means scientists can now develop a gene therapy treating it.

No comments:

Post a Comment