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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funds gene discovery

Donations from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge have helped researchers discover a gene linked to the disease.

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All of that ice-cold water we've been dumping on one another in the name of science has paid off.

The ALS Association issued a release on Monday about the discovery of NEK1, a gene linked to ALS. The report added that the research was made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations.

With a team of more than 80 scientists in 11 countries, it was the largest study ever related to inherited ALS. NEK1 is now believed to be one of the most common genetic markers for ALS, which will help guide future research.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes muscles to degrade over time. The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge encouraged friends and family members to dump ice-cold water on one another and promote the challenge on social media. Many shared videos and donations later and the ALS Association reported earning $115 million in funding during an 8-week period of the media frenzy.

Hopefully we'll hear more about NEK1 soon, as scientists continue to work toward a cure for this progressive condition.