News Focus

The Children's Study: Unmet Promises

Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 133-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6116.133

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Twelve years ago, Congress asked the National Institutes of Health to follow the health of a large group of children from birth to adulthood to examine the effects of environmental influences, such as chemicals and education, on children's health and development. Last year, after recruiting about 4000 women for pilot tests, NIH scrapped its plan to have 40 university-led centers carry out the study in a random sample of about 100 U.S. counties. Who is to blame for the problems of the National Children's Study? And how can the redesigned study succeed?