Sadly, one must occasionally set aside his or her cynicism long enough to enjoy those small bursts of positivity. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the so-viral-you-don't-need-me-to-explain-it sensation that raised a gigantic amount of money for ALS research, was almost immediately engulfed in the nay-saying flames of sidelined cynics when it reached peak virality. As for when exactly that peak moment occurred, many experts agree it was sadly on whatever day this was filmed:
However, most of that cynicism seems to be almost entirely unfounded. According to the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised 220 million dollars from donations in 2014. An impressive 96 percent of the money raised was applied directly to various research, education, and general service related to the disease. Scientists are now saying that the money raised in 2014 alone directly contributed to what is being called a "breakthrough" in ALS research. The breakthrough stems from research focused on a protein called TDP-43 that reportedly contributes to cell death in either the brain or spinal cord of impacted patients. According to the New York Times, the scientists found that the insertion of a custom-designed protein allowed those cells to eventually return to a normal state. The custom protein will be tested on mice before being introduced in human trials.
As cynicism never really dies, plenty of people are already questioning these very statements using itemized arguments.