In DepthBiomedical Research

Ambitious children's study meets disappointing end

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Science  19 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6216, pp. 1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6216.1441

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Summary

Federal officials are pulling the plug on a controversial plan to follow the health of 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21. Requested by Congress in 2000, the National Children's Study (NCS) set out to understand the complex web of environmental factors that shape child development and health. But its leaders have struggled to get the study off the ground and rein in ballooning costs. Last week, advisers to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the study too flawed to be carried out in a tight budget environment. NIH Director Francis Collins announced he is immediately dismantling the NCS, but will redirect some of its $165 million in funding for 2015 to related research.