The first edition of embryos genes and birth defects edited by the late peter thorogood was a radical new book aimed at bridging the gap between the medical disciplines of embryology and dysmorphology and recent advances in cellular molecular and developmental biology this new edition remains . Birth defects are the consequence of defectiveembryonic development that can be due to genetic epigenetic orteratogenic factors the first edition of embryos genes and birth defects edited by the late peter thorogood was a radical new book aimed atbridging the gap between the medical disciplines of embryology anddysmorphology and recent . Maternal diabetes during pregnancy is a well known teratogen that increases the risk for birth defects such as neural tube defects ntds we have previously shown that maternal diabetes profoundly affects gene expression in the developing embryo in particular a suite of known ntd genes. The embryos vulnerability to unpredictable fluctuations in external conditions is likely to be far greater in oviparous egg laying animals where embryos develop outside the mothers body and . The ability to oscillate and control gene expression at the earliest stages of development raises the question of whether it might be possible to stop early genetic programming as an embryo forms
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