Just a couple years ago, the interwebs were filled with the #ALSIceBucketChallege. Whenever you were on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform, the only thing that you could see where people doing the challenge itself or nominating others to do so.
Celebrities like Super Junior’s Siwon, Hong Kong Cantopop singer Andy Lau, and Superman-actor Henry Cavill contributed their part, with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg jumping on the bandwagon too! On the local front, even our Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng did their part to raise awareness for the disorder.
Well, it seems like their efforts (and everyone else who contributed to the cause) wasn’t wasted, as The University of Massachusetts Medical School has made a new breakthrough regarding the disease. With the help of ALS Associated, who donated US$ 100 million to the MinE project, the school has identified a tantamount gene that is responsible for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
That gene, named the NEK1, could lead to a greater understanding of the disease and might even propel scientists to find a cure for the fatally neurological disease.
“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,” said Bernard Muller, an ALS patient who is also the founder of Project MinE.
More than 17 million people participated in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge in 2014, which roughly raised over US$ 200 million for the research of the debilitating disease. The illness currently affects approximately 2 out of 100,000 people per year, and causes them to lose the functions of their muscles. The challenge was started by Pete Frates, an ALS patient since 2011, who nominated his friends to try it out in a bid to simulate the pain and effects of the disease.
In case y’all wanna know the full story of how the trend started, click here. Or if you just wanna refresh your minds of the 2014 trend, we’ve compiled the top 10 celebrities #ALSIceBucketChallenge here :)
Source: New York Daily News via Complex.