Unlocking the mystery of French babies born with deformed arms

To be expected or cause for concern? A developmental biologist offers his thoughts on the matter
Professor Neil Vargesson
Baby feet

The French national birth-defect agency REMERA recently identified clusters of children born with malformed limbs in three rural regions in France. Each cluster has 3-8 children with malformations that include children with missing or deformed arms and hands.

The French public health department (Santé Publique France) originally suggested that these cases were not above what was naturally expected each year. Around 3-4% of children worldwide have a birth malformation.