May 2016 newsletter

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). It contains news and events as well as updates on our resources and publications. Please forward a link to this page to colleagues who may be interested and encourage them to follow us on Twitter @CO90s.



Focus@24+ update

We have seen more than 1,360 participants (with another 350 booked in) as part of our latest data sweep and will shortly be adding a new measure – screening for chlamydia and gonorrhoea – as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. The first wave of data will be available late 2017.

COCO90s update

  • More than 750 of our G1 participants are parents and together they have over 900 children
  • Over 356 participants and 140 of their partners have enrolled their children in COCO90s (G2 study)
  • So far, we’ve seen 400 children with another 34 babies on the way
  • We have seen 189 mothers-to-be at least once during pregnancy and have collected nearly 100 placentas and blood samples from umbilical cord.
We aim to release data collected July 2012-March 2014 by January 2017 with data collected April 2014-March 2015 available shortly thereafter.


  • The way our genes work is influenced by molecular processes known as epigenetics. Tom Gaunt and colleagues at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit have undertaken an extensive study to better understand how these processes may themselves be influenced by differences in the genetic code.
  • Two new papers involving ALSPAC and led by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium have been accepted by the journals Nature and Nature Genetics and focus on the role of genes in educational attainment and subjectively measured well-being. Both papers will be published shortly.


  • On Wednesday 27 April, we ran the third in our popular series of creative workshops for study mothers. Led by documentary photographer Ian Beesley, poet Ian McMillan and cartoonist Tony Husband, the workshops explore topics relating to the menopause, including ‘empty nest’ and ‘kinship’. Each workshop results in a ‘chap’ (short) book as a gift for the mothers.


  • On Monday 11 July, ALSPAC and Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit will be running a seminar in Bristol about ALSPAC speech and language data, as part of the ESRC-funded Born Talking seminar series. The day will include an overview of ALSPAC and COCO90s (the children of ALSPAC participants), presentations on research using ALSPAC speech and language data, an introduction to the dataset, and themed discussions (speech, language, communication, stammering). More details and booking will be available shortly on our website.
  • From 22-23 August, colleagues from Data to Knowledge (D2K) will be hosting a two-day WUN workshop – Data Analysis with Privacy Protection for Epidemiological Research (DAPPER). Delegates will have the opportunity to test and watch demonstrations of a range of software and approaches. Places are limited. Register and more information.
  • From 25 to 27 October, colleagues at the National Centre for Longitudinal Data (NCLD) are hosting the Longitudinal Data Conference in Canberra, Australia. They are currently calling for speakers on the conference themes of powerful data, strong evidence and informed policy.
  • From 1 to 4 November, colleagues from the MRC Integrative Epidemology Unit will be helping to coordinate the Epigenomics of Common Diseases conference in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire.
For more information on any of the projects mentioned here, please email
This newsletter is also available as a downloadable PDF - May 2016 ALSPAC newsletter (PDF, 256kB)