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The success of ALSPAC
For many years I have admired the success of ALSPAC. The fourth of the British birth cohort studies, this project began in 1990 and has continued to add to our scientific knowledge. More recently because the initial investigators were wise to obtain biological samples from its participants, the ALSPAC has begun to generate important data based upon genetic information. In this issue, Professor Jean Golding, at my urging, reflects on the many successes of ALSPAC. She has focused her review on 10 topics, ranging from the “puzzle of peanut allergy,” to a recent group of genetic studies. Along with the work of the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, which has been mimicked all over the world, ALSPAC represents the best of child health research in the UK. As the US continues to struggle with the launch of the National Children's Study (http://www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov/Pages/default.aspx), which will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of 100,000 children, it has much to learn from the success of ALSPAC and the other birth cohort studies. See page 319 …
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