By H. Kalter
This booklet is an an up to date survey and precis of current wisdom and destiny expectancies in regards to the environmental explanations of congenital malformations in people, starting with the earliest discoveries of the twentieth century as much as the newest principles and difficulties at its finish, offers perspectives and reviews at the growth remodeled the century in realizing human prenatal maldevelopment.
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Additional resources for Teratology in the Twentieth Century: Congenital malformations in humans and how their environmental causes were established
Down syndrome children are still being born, and because of demographic realities, perhaps have even increased in frequency. Knowledge of the cytogenetic basis of the condition has not been enough to change that. 10. Cortisone studies and by-products Returning to the question of why particular agents were chosen for experimentation, sometimes the choice was made for no better reason than the 'stuff' happened to be around and sounded promising. The following account of how a major chapter in experimental teratology got its start provides a model.
A study that inadvertently discovered this interworking of teratogen and genotype became a prototype of the phenomenon--and another example of serendipity. Dorothy Andersen was a pediatric pathologist with an early and abiding interest in cystic fibrosis of the pancreas (Andersen, 1958), a serious disease of infancy (not fully understood and controllable even 50 years later Doull, 2001). In performing autopsies on infants and children dying of the condition, she had consistently noted destruction of the pancreas, and several lines of evidence and several hypothetical considerations led her to believe that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy might be connected to the production of this disease.
It was originally called the "Mongolian type of idiocy" by its 'discoverer,' the London physician John Langdon H. Down in a short paper published in 1866 (Down, 1866). There in a few words he described the condition and conjectured about its causation: "Had the nurse dosed the child with opium? " But once more, one asks, how could this state in which so marked are the typical features, "that when placed side by side, it is difficult to believe that [they] are not children of the same parents," not have been discovered long before?
Teratology in the Twentieth Century: Congenital malformations in humans and how their environmental causes were established by H. Kalter