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Understanding ALS – SciShow News Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

SciShow News explains the science behind ALS, the disease that has inspired millions to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. Learn what ALS is, what we do and don’t know about it, and watch SSN hosts take the challenge themselves!


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The Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. It went viral on social media during July-August 2014

The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

Ice Bucket Challenge generated more than $100 million in donations in a single month, a staggering amount considering the organization took in only $2.5 million for all of 2013.