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Children of the 90s

14 Mar, 2011

Children of the 90s‘ is a highly ambitious, long-term study spanning almost 20 years. Conceived by Jean Golding, the project – originally known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) – recruited more than 14,000 mothers in the early 90s with the goal of studying the participants — mothers, fathers and children – in a level of detail never before seen.

Across the years, numerous and varied tissue samples have been collected and analysed (sometimes before any obvious use was known for them), while thousands of questionnaires have been completed, examining families and individuals’ behaviour in minute detail. Today, with George Davey-Smith directing the project, it continues to produce an astonishing wealth of scientific data, studied and used by scientists around the world.

In some respects, the Children of the 90s project is just getting started. As one generation gives way to the next, the increasing wealth of behavioural and biological data, combined with advances in genetics and epigenetics continues to produce further revelations about modern humans living in a modern environment.

In this film, we meet both Jean and George in the Children of the 90s base, Bristol. This one remarkable building encompasses everything about the project, from the participants on the ground floor, to the data analysis one floor up, continuing on to the scientists above.

In July 2010, the Wellcome Trust renewed core-funding for the project in partnership with the Medical Research Council, totalling £6 million over the next 3 years.

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