Morphogenetic systems and the central phenomena of teratology

  • R. Jelínek
  • Z. Rychter
Part of the Advances in the Study of Birth Defects book series (ASBD, volume 2)


Any monograph on experimental teratology appearing at present brings the evidence that experimental teratology, nowadays, more than being an exact science, dwells on an empirical basis. The more voluminous the monograph, the more apparent is the editor’s endeavour for managing the facts into some kind of an organized entity, into some system. At the same time, however, it becomes obvious that experimental teratology lacks the theory that would provide this branch of science with reliable foundations granting some destination and sense. It is evident that the ultimate aim of any teratological investigation is to prevent, as soon as possible and ever so effectively, the occurrence of inborn defects. The total elaborate empiricism of experimental teratology does not allow more, from the practical point of view, than synthesis and generalization of data according to the prescriptive rules. This character is inherent even in the relevant technical reports and recommendations1 of the World Health Organization where indefinite terms are often used as, for instance, low, medium and high dose of a substance, the teratogenic properties of which are to be investigated. It is only the semantic forms expressing simple guides how to progress in order to attain our aim — to demonstrate whether, and to what extent is a substance tested teratogenic. From the bulk of facts examined by trial and error, some facts capable of being generalized are gradually assorted, that conduct all activities aimed to the satisfaction of our immediate need — prevention of inborn defects.


Chick Embryo Choroid Plexus Organ Constituent Morphogenetic Event Palatal Shelf 
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© MTP Press Limited 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Jelínek
  • Z. Rychter

There are no affiliations available

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