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Editor's PicksHealthIce Bucket Challenge donations helped fund a genetic breakthrough for ALS Research

Ice Bucket Challenge donations helped fund a genetic breakthrough for ALS Research

2014 was a year of high and lows: the Frozen soundtrack dominated the Billboard charts for weeks, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, there was the sad death of Robin Williams and let’s not forget the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’.

The craze was one of the most talked about events of the year with 17 million videos related to it posted on Facebook. They were viewed more than 10 billion times by more than 440 million people.

The trend was designed to raise awareness of ALS disease (known as motor neurone disease in the UK) – a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The challenge also helped raise funds for the ALS Association.

It appears that the funny videos – captured by celebrities and millions of other people alike – weren’t just a form of entertainment.

The challenge raised an amazing sum of $115 million in just six weeks.

This week ALS Association has announced that the money from the donations has been used to fund the discovery of a significant gene that contributes to the disease.

More than 80 researchers across 11 countries searched for ALS risk genes in families affected by the disease – and they finally found one.

The gene identified as NEK1 will help researchers move forward to identify possible treatments and hopefully a form of preventing the disease.

The breakthrough is a result of global collaboration.

To celebrate this amazing breakthrough let’s remember some of the most hilarious Ice Bucket Challenge moments:

Benedict Cumberbatch’s surpise Ice Bucket Challenge

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The guy who might not have a girlfriend anymore

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These girls who are really strugglinggiphy

 

This guy who scared the dog

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And this guy who could really use a handgiphy (2)

 

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