NIH gives up on National Children's Study after spending billions

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has called off a massive health research project that was intended to collect data on child health and development to assess how environmental factors influence a wide range of diseases and conditions, Bloomberg reported. The project--known as the National Children's Study--ran aground in part due to its spiraling costs, which have reached $1.3 billion since its start in 2007 after being authorized by Congress in 2000. Research never progressed beyond a small pilot study, despite the ambitious goal of analyzing the health data of 100,000 children from before birth through adolescence. An NIH advisory board's findings simply indicate that the project is "not feasible," according to a statement from NIH Director Francis S. Collins. "I am disappointed that this study failed to achieve its goals. Yet I am optimistic that other approaches will provide answers to these important research questions," he wrote in the statement. Article