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Red Hot researchers spice up Chilli ME Challenge — Live!

Can you take the heat? Join Simon McGrath in support of the Chilli ME Challenge …

Watch renowned researchers Drs. Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig take the Chilli ME Challenge, LIVE from New York by webcast this coming Wednesday, 1st July at 1 p.m. EST.

To spice things up, the researchers from Columbia University have promised that the more you give, the hotter the chilli peppers they will eat! And every dollar goes directly to their cutting-edge programme of ME/CFS research.

Some like it hot

Their spice-o-meter currently shows they will be eating spicy jalapeño chillis, and are just shy of taking on red hot Thai chillies. Your gift can make that difference!

The team have made a brilliant trailer for this landmark in researcher engagement:

There’s no doubt these two researchers are up for a challenge. When the study they organised ruled out XMRV as the cause of ME/CFS, their response was that something was causing the illness and they wanted to find out what it was. So they embarked on an impressive programme of research, the first fruits of which came this year and made media headlines.

When the NIH turned them down twice for a study of the microbiome in ME/CFS patients, they refused to quit. They reached out to patients with a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $220,000.

Now they are spicing up their efforts with the Chilli ME Challenge, taking the heat for ME/CFS research. As they say, Make This Summer Red Hot for Research.

Dr. Lipkin’s Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, where Dr. Hornig is Director for Translational Research, is one of the world’s largest and most advanced centres in microbe discovery, identification and diagnosis. That makes it perfectly equipped to find out how bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxins (and the immune response to them) might contribute to ME/CFS.
Donate now and put the heat on ME/CFS!

Don’t stop at giving. You, too, can eat a hot pepper and challenge others to do the same.

The Chilli ME Challenge

chilli challenge1The #chilliMEchallenge is a grassroots global campaign organized by four young women with ME, the 4 Chilis in a Pod. They are encouraging people to eat chillies, post the video online and donate to either Columbia in the U.S. or Invest in ME in the UK (donation page).

The Chilli ME Challenge has a Facebook community and you can see the dozens of videos of chilli-eating for ME on YouTube. Amongst many others, Jen Brea and Lucinda Bateman have risen to the challenge and both nominated Ian Lipkin to do the same.  Jen challenged Mady Hornig too, just to make sure.

Now Lipkin and Hornig are responding, and you can watch live.

Columbia’s Chilli ME Challenge, LIVE from New York – don’t miss it!

Make a note in your diaries: This Wednesday, 1st July at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PDT, 11 a.m. MDT, Noon CDT, 5 p.m. UK, 6 p.m. Europe). Visit Columbia’s Chilli page to register for the webcast and even get a reminder.

See you there. And don’t forget to donate first if you want them to really feel the heat.

chilli-plate

Simon McGrath

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{ 103 comments… add one }

  • Sasha June 28, 2015, 2:10 am

    This made me cough up another donation! :devil:

    Go, Columbia! :thumbsup:

  • Simon June 28, 2015, 2:42 am
    Sasha

    This made me cough up another donation! :devil:

    Result! And thank you.

    How hot? Here's a guide to what your money buys for the lucky boffins, names added courtesy of @Bob. Habanero's are very hot…

    View attachment 11681

  • Valentijn June 28, 2015, 2:57 am

    Additionally, the hotness of the chili eaten will go up at least ten-fold on the Scoville scale if we can bump them up from Jalapeño to Thai! Jalapeño is only rated at 2,500 – 10,000 Scoville Heat Units, whereas the Thai chili registers at 100,000 – 225,000 :devil:

  • Sasha June 28, 2015, 2:58 am

    Hadn't realised that the habanero actually looks like :devil:

  • Snow Leopard June 28, 2015, 3:40 am

    The hottest (raw) chilli I have eaten was Jalapeno, I certainly wouldn't want to try any hotter!

  • Valentijn June 28, 2015, 3:47 am
    Snow Leopard

    The hottest chilli I have eaten was Jalapeno, I certainly wouldn't want to try any hotter!

    I cook with Thai chili pretty often, but it's nicely minced and a rather small amount diffusing into coconut milk for a long time. The only raw chili I've eaten is bell pepper, and I find even baked or fried Jalapeño poppers filled with cheese or cream cheese to be too hot. Though maybe I'd like stuffed Poblanos better :-)

  • Bob June 28, 2015, 5:25 am

    I had an authentic Thai curry once. It wasn't particularly hot when I ate it, but i spent a very uncomfortable whole night on the toilet with stomach cramps and… (ah well, I suppose i should spare you the details.) 😡 :confused: Considering this, I would never touch a raw chilli!

    There's quite a funny chilli challenge video with two teenage girls, Lexi and Jordan. They let the tiniest bit of Tabasco sauce touch their lips and then spend the next five minutes gagging, coughing, spitting into a bucket, groaning, dribbling, pulling faces of disgust, rinsing their mouths with milk and more spitting into a bucket, and asking if their mouths are bleeding. That would be my reaction too. It's very entertaining.

    @Valentijn, could you copy your chilli scale from the other thread? I thought that was great – funny, and informative.

  • Bob June 28, 2015, 5:26 am

    I've just seen the chilli ME challenge YouTube video playlist which I think lists all of the known videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSx6yaUzRhPxb5vqnJaZEpPjj9fKpnVGa

    Edit: This was listed in @Simon's article – I hadn't spotted it until now.

  • Bob June 28, 2015, 5:52 am

    OK, I've just watched Lucinda Bateman's video, and she eats a spoonful of wasabi paste (i find even a tiny amount ridiculously hot), and a whole raw jalapeño chilli pepper, and a squirt of hot Thai chilli sauce for good measure! Well, either she is very brave and dedicated, or she is not human and has no pain receptors! The video doesn't show the aftermath – I'd like to have witnessed the next five minutes! :devil:

  • sarah darwins June 28, 2015, 6:22 am

    There seems to be some debate online about Habanero vs Scotch Bonnet (sort of like Spider Man vs The Incredibly Hulk). The scotch bonnet is definitely the hottest thing I've ever encountered. I recommend a dose of approximately 1 / lifetime.

  • Valentijn June 28, 2015, 6:33 am
    Bob

    @Valentijn, could you copy your chilli scale from the other thread? I thought that was great – funny, and informative.

    For those who are wondering, those peppers rank as follows on the Scoville scale, which is used to assess hotness (0-2,200,000):

    • Bell pepper: 0 :meh:
    • Poblano: 1,000 – 1,500 :redface:
    • Jalapeño: 2,500 – 10,000 :wide-eyed:
    • Thai (Bird's Eye): 100,000 – 225,000 :jaw-drop:
    • Habanero: 100,000 – 350,000 😮
  • ahimsa June 28, 2015, 6:07 pm

    I wimped out and just made a donation. No chili challenge video from me!

    sarah darwins

    There seems to be some debate online about Habanero vs Scotch Bonnet (sort of like Spider Man vs The Incredibly Hulk). The scotch bonnet is definitely the hottest thing I've ever encountered. I recommend a dose of approximately 1 / lifetime.

    LOL! 😮 Have you tried one? I have never had one.

    Years ago I thought Scotch Bonnet and Habanero were different names for the same chili pepper. :rolleyes: I know better now.

    Here's one page I found online (the Habaneros in my grocery store look like item 19) —

    http://matadornetwork.com/life/22-worlds-hottest-peppers-eat-them/

    I usually buy either jalapenos or serranos for cooking.

    PS. Found another helpful pepper list —

    http://www.pepperscale.com/hot-pepper-list/

  • sarah darwins June 29, 2015, 5:11 am
    ahimsa

    LOL! 😮 Have you tried one? I have never had one.

    I have! :aghhh: Well, an unknown quantity of one in a veggie chilli I made for my partner and me. I saw them in the store and thought they looked cute so decided to put two of them in the chilli instead of the usual two jalapenos …. good grief. We did manage maybe half a bowl each but at that point I was thinking of calling the emergency services (though not sure which one to request). We sort of looked at each other through the tears and said "enough!".

  • aimossy June 29, 2015, 6:53 am

    On the live link thing it says there are 250 following, so that means there could be at least hopefully 250 people going to watch? There is about 14 or 15 who are attending on the MEAction event calendar! Brilliant!

  • Sasha June 29, 2015, 7:18 am
    aimossy

    On the live link thing it says there are 250 following, so that means there could be at least hopefully 250 people going to watch? There is about 14 or 15 who are attending on the MEAction event calendar! Brilliant!

    I hope that's 250 donors… :)

  • aimossy June 29, 2015, 7:32 am

    I hope we get more joining at the time :)

  • Forebearance June 29, 2015, 11:37 am

    This is hilarious! I admire Drs. Lipkin and Hornig for participating in this.
    No way could I eat more than a bell pepper raw! lol
    But I agree that poblanos are good when stuffed with cheese and baked.

  • Bob June 29, 2015, 1:37 pm

    The spice-o-meter has now officially reached "Thai"!
    Can we reach Habanero by Wednesday? :angel:

    There's 2 days to go till the live event!
    http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/chiliME

    View attachment 11696

  • DawnMarie June 29, 2015, 7:22 pm

    Come on Drs. Klimas and Rey, where's your video???

  • DawnMarie June 29, 2015, 7:24 pm
    Bob

    OK, I've just watched Lucinda Bateman's video, and she eats a spoonful of wasabi paste (i find even a tiny amount ridiculously hot), and a whole raw jalapeño chilli pepper, and a squirt of hot Thai chilli sauce for good measure! Well, either she is very brave and dedicated, or she is not human and has no pain receptors! The video doesn't show the aftermath – I'd like to have witnessed the next five minutes! :devil:

    Lol, yes she's badass!!!

  • Snow Leopard June 30, 2015, 2:54 am
    Bob

    OK, I've just watched Lucinda Bateman's video, and she eats a spoonful of wasabi paste (i find even a tiny amount ridiculously hot), and a whole raw jalapeño chilli pepper, and a squirt of hot Thai chilli sauce for good measure! Well, either she is very brave and dedicated, or she is not human and has no pain receptors! The video doesn't show the aftermath – I'd like to have witnessed the next five minutes! :devil:

    Lucinda is like the only person in the world who puts chilli on her chilli!

  • aimossy June 30, 2015, 5:13 am

    This from the Columbia CII Facebook Page, was also shared to Microbe Discovery FB page.

    Center for Infection and Immunity
    Thank you Craft New York and Tom Colicchio for helping Mady Hornig prepare for the ‪#‎chiliMEchallenge‬ with this amazing pepper infused creation!

    Dr Mady Hornig is preparing….
    View attachment 11698

  • Bob June 30, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Join the Chilli ME challenge live-event tomorrow (Wednesday).
    The livestream starts at 1pm ET / 6pm BST / 5pm GMT/UTC. (As long as I've done my time zone calculations properly.)
    See the count-down and the live event here:
    http://livestream.com/accounts/7100374/chilime

    If you use Twitter, the hashtag is #ChilliMEchallenge.

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 7:14 am

    Last opportunity to donate and make those scientists suffer! :devil::devil::devil:

    The live broadcast is at 1pm ET, 6pm UK – and you need to register to see it. :)

    There might be some :cry::cry: but hopefully there'll be lots of :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag: to make up for it.

  • Valentijn July 1, 2015, 8:13 am
    Sasha

    Last opportunity to donate and make those scientists suffer! :devil::devil::devil:

    The live broadcast is at 1pm ET, 6pm UK – and you need to register to see it. :)

    I don't see a place to register, just to "Get Notified".

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 8:48 am
    Valentijn

    I don't see a place to register, just to "Get Notified".

    I'm just parroting what I've been told so hopeful there's someone around who understands the process!

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 9:10 am

    @Valentijn and @Sasha. When you click on Bob's livestream link (post #24), there's a login command at the top right of the page. I just tried to register but it turns out I already had an account, can't remember what for. Anyway, luckily I'd used my usual password.

  • Valentijn July 1, 2015, 9:16 am
    Scarecrow

    @Valentijn and @Sasha. When you click on Bob's livestream link (post #24), there's a login command at the top right of the page. I just tried to register but it turns out I already had an account, can't remember what for. Anyway, luckily I'd used my usual password.

    Ah, so you just have to register for Livestream and not the event?

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 9:19 am
    Valentijn

    Ah, so you just have to register for Livestream and not the event?

    AFAIK

  • Esther12 July 1, 2015, 9:49 am

    Oops, forgot we were GMT+1 so got here an hour early. 1 hour and 10 to go.

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 10:06 am

    I tried to register and I'm still waiting for the confirmation email so best do it now if you haven't already!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 10:56 am

    Well, I'm in, four minutes to go…

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 10:57 am

    83 sadists watching…

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 10:58 am

    How hot is the spice-o-meter?

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 11:00 am

    All the way up!

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 11:01 am

    A message has just appeared that they are starting soon.

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:01 am

    118 watching…

  • SDSue July 1, 2015, 11:03 am

    Im on this page. Am I missing it or are they late in starting? http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/chiliME

  • Sidereal July 1, 2015, 11:04 am

    It's on!

  • Nielk July 1, 2015, 11:04 am
  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:04 am

    Notice the massive FIRE EXTINGUISHER stage left…

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:06 am

    Holy shit! Someone donated half a million bucks!

  • Sidereal July 1, 2015, 11:06 am

    HALF A MILLION DOLLAR DONATION CAME IN LAST WEEK, OMG!

  • Nielk July 1, 2015, 11:07 am
    Sidereal

    HALF A MILLION DOLLAR DONATION CAME IN LAST WEEK, OMG!

    AMAZING!!!!!!!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:07 am

    Ian: 'Mady, so why don't you take us through this painful process?'

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:08 am

    Some fireproof gobs there…

  • Sidereal July 1, 2015, 11:08 am

    Hilarious. Omg guys, don't get sick!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:10 am

    Numb lips… possibly a blessing…

  • Nielk July 1, 2015, 11:12 am

    They should have drinks in between…to wash it down. It's really heartwarming that they are willing to do this for us!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:14 am

    Mady's given Dr Montoya the Black Spot…

    …and Dr Peterson, Klimas, Bateman, Levine, Komaroff, Felsenstein – that's their collaborator network…