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Try, Try Again: Jul 16, 2015

With its re-launch of a nation-wide children's study, the US National Institutes of Health hopes to learn from its past mistakes, ScienceInsider reports.

The National Children's Study came to an end late last year before even really taking off as the Institute of Medicine uncovered issues with the study's design as well as with the management of the project.

But last month, Congress urged the NIH to take the project, or one similar to it, back up again. This new study has been dubbed the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser now reports, and it is to focus on upper and lower airway diseases like asthma and allergies; pre-, peri-, and postnatal outcomes; neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and depression; and obesity.

Rather than enrolling a new cohort of children — one source of the previous NCS effort's rising costs — ECHO plans to make use of existing cohorts.

"That way, a good deal of the infrastructure will already be in place with regard to identification and enrollment of potential participants," NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak tells Kaiser. "It will allow us to ask very targeted questions where appropriate." 

NIH issued a request for information Monday seeking comments on this new plan.