History of Birth Defects

My forthcoming article in Clinical Genetics: "Birth Defects Before Epigenesis." It's due out in October in the journal's most widely circulated issue. It will be distributed at the American Symposium of Human Genetics Conference in November!

For the record, I'm not a geneticist. I'm a historian of medicine. So, it's exciting to have an article in a medical journal.

Epigenesis describes the progressive development of an embryo in stages. For anyone who seen an ultrasound in pregnancy and thought how little bubba looks a little like a gummy bear--that's epigenesis.

But we didn't figure out epigenesis until the late eighteenth century. And the egg and the sperm were not discovered until 1672 and 1677, respectively. So, how did they think babies were made before then? How were genetic anomalies understood before genetics?

That, folks, is the focus of this article. Since the history of embryology is my field, you can count on some great blogs about the facts of life in months to come on Wonders and Marvels. I promise!

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