An Ice Bucket Challenge for Cures

Charles Mueller

Currently there is no dedicated industry or government effort aimed at creating a more fundamental understanding of health.  Such an effort could provide the knowledge we need to create cures to the 10,000 known diseases.  If nobody else will step up, maybe what we need is an “Ice Bucket Challenge” to fund efforts that seek to do this.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a huge success.  In 2014 alone, the concept raised $100+ million dollars for ALS research, which is over twice as much money as NIH put towards the same cause.  This week the ALS Association is reporting that money from this campaign funded research that found a significant gene, which appears to be a major factor in ALS.  The takeaway is that it is possible to accelerate research for health related issues outside the “limelight” by looking to things like crowdsourcing via social media as unique funding streams.

Now, not to downplay the finding of this new gene related to ALS, but as exciting as this might seem, this finding isn’t likely going to lead to a cure anytime soon.  This is simply because finding a gene is only one piece in complicated puzzle that is disease.

Let me explain.

Genes can be compared to players on a sports team.  Teams are made up of a variety of players and work together to achieve some goal (e.g. win a championship).  Often there are all-stars that really make the team what it is, but a team is always more than one player.  And just like one all-star really can’t win you a championship, a single “all-star” gene likely won’t be all you need to find a cure to a disease.

Furthermore, teams need coaches, a person that understands how the game is played and why the team works like it does.  In general, this is the problem with all disease, we lack the knowledge of how and why disease occurs.  If we want the championship of medicine (i.e. cures) then we need to a real scientific understanding of health. 

This is why we need an Ice Bucket Challenge for Cures.  We need to stop waiting for others to see the importance of funding a cause that attempts to integrate all known theories of health and disease; one that provides some sort of physical, mathematical basis for human biology.

Let’s dump ice on our heads to fund the search for Maxwell’s equations for biology!

Let’s spread the love on social media promoting the quest for health’s E=mc^2!

Creating a real theoretical understanding of health/disease that can be traced to the fundamental properties of matter will not just help find cures to diseases like ALS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc., it will provide the pathway to find cures to any and all disease.

Let’s start this journey with an Ice Bucket Challenge for Cures!

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Enough is Enough

A body is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in the southern French town of Nice when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday

REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

 

Radical Islamic terrorism is the most dangerous form of radicalism in the world today. The greater it grows, the longer it persists, the more justification it gives to other forms of radicalism to use violent extremes to get their way. As long as this cancer to a free, fair, and stable global society exists, the justification to kill, rape, and enslave to promote your ideology has a fertile breeding ground to grow. This is not a threat you can deal with passively or subtly. This is a threat you have to treat like all other ideologies that have threatened the ability to live in a free, equal and just society. This threat threatens our survival.

My heart hurts for those in Nice, France today, as well as all those over the years that have been hurt by the evil that radical Islamic terrorism spreads. Yesterday at least 84 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a cowardly terrorist used a semi-truck to bulldoze innocent people celebrating a national holiday, prompting celebration by the radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS. This was a town that promoted western values and had just finished celebrating the French National Day, a day which commemorates the Storming of Bastille, a pivotal moment in the French Revolution that catalyzed a future where the French could be free. And that was probably the point. The radical Islamic ideology despises the ideology celebrated on Bastille Day, one that promotes the concepts of equality and freedom for all. Every time radical Islamic terrorism strikes, be it at night clubs in Orlando, the streets of Paris, or bombings in Istanbul, it reminds us that this ideology only cares about one thing: bringing death to all those that oppose their beliefs and views of the world.

A body is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in the southern French town of Nice when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday

REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

War isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be. Going to war is meant to hurt. War is how societies protect their cultures and ideologies. Radical Islamic terrorists are waging a war on all of us and it is time we fight back. This means treating this threat like we did in 1930’s with fascism, in 70’s and 80s with communism. This means recognizing that the spread of the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism literally threatens our survival and as such we have to respond in full force to preserve all we’ve worked to create. We should be using every single weapon we have, from boots on the ground, to cyberwarfare, to economic weapons, etc. in order to destroy this cancer. Yes, going all in means people’s children will die and innocent victims will be harmed, but again, war is meant to hurt. We aren’t supposed to want to go to war. We are supposed to go to war when there is no other way.

Radical Islamic terrorism is spreading and providing the justifications for other forms of radicalism that threaten freedom and equality for all. The longer we wait to combat this reality, the more it will destroy us, slowly from the inside, just like cancer. You don’t cure cancer by talking to it, rationalizing with it, or haphazardly fighting parts of it. You cure cancer by destroying all cancer cells. It is time we get serious about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and destroy it before it destroys us.