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As a nation, we have made great advances in improving the health and development of children over the past century. However, high rates of asthma, developmental disorders, obesity, preventable injuries and a host of other problems are still a challenge for our society. While studies in recent years have offered important insights into these conditions, most have been too small or too specific to analyze the wide range of environmental factors and relationships that may impact diseases and conditions afflicting today’s child. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is leading the most ambitious nationwide children’s health research project in history – the National Children’s Study – which is designed to follow children from before birth to age 21 to study the impact of the environment, broadly defined, on their health and ultimately to seek out ways to prevent many of the diseases from which children suffer. In 2007, the NIH awarded $18.5 million to the Michigan Alliance for the National Children’s Study (MANCS) for study work in Wayne County, and an additional $57 million in 2008 to study children in Genesee, Grand Traverse, Lenawee and Macomb counties. Through these awards, MANCS will monitor 5,000 children in Michigan to pinpoint the root causes of many of today’s major childhood diseases and disorders and determine what aspects of the environment are harmful, but also what is helpful to children’s health and development.