Teratogen (Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders)
A teratogen is any environmental influence that adversely affects the normal development of the fetus.
Abnormal fetal development may result from exposure to a teratogen. There are four different teratogen categories: physical agents (radiation and hyperthermia), metabolic conditions affecting the mother, infection, and drugs (like thalidomide) and alcohol.
Women whose body temperature is raised while pregnant may have abnormalities result in their fetus. The rise in body temperature can be caused by infection or by spending time in hot areas such as a sauna or hot tub.
Ionizing radiationutagens versus teratogens
Any outside agent (like radiation) interfering with the process of development is considered a teratogen. Development is the process in which a tiny mass of undifferentiated cells (the embryo) multiplies and differentiates into the kidney, liver, heart, bone, muscles, and so on. Mutagens, however, are agents that directly...
(The entire section is 1369 words.)
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