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Ice Bucket Challenge funds lead to ALS discovery

Date Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson, right, leads some 200 people in the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 to raise funds and awareness for ALS. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

During the summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge was ubiquitous on social media. The fundraising challenge for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease, raised $115 million in the eight-week period. Now, research funded by the phenomena has led to a new discovery.

The ALS Association contributed $1 million to Project MinE, to launch the U.S. branch of the 15-country collaboration to sequence the entire genome of 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 individuals without ALS. reported on the project in 2015; their goal is to find as many genetic factors that contribute to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as possible, to then identify potential targets for therapy.