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Article
November 10, 1956

DEVELOPMENTAL DEFECTS

JAMA. 1956;162(11):1077. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970280057022

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The July 14, 1956, issue of The Journal contains an article by T. H. Ingalls (page 1047) on causes and prevention of congenital defects that, I feel, should not go unchallenged. It is the biologist's lot to investigate conditions of living organisms as they exist; even when he experiments, he only produces new constellations of preexisting factors and reactions. The biologist, and with him the medical scientist, cannot choose what fits his hypothesis and relegate the rest to convenient oblivion. Thus, it is difficult to agree with Dr. Ingalls that embryology should logically (or in any other way) precede genetics in the study of abnormal development. The more we learn about these fields, the less we can separate them or let one precede the other; the interested reader is referred to Waddington's "Principles of Embryology" ( London, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1956). The disregard of the importance

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