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Such defects are caused mainly by genetic factors, but some teratogenic (or environmental) factors have been identified, such as the use of thalidomide in the 1957-62 for morning-sickness (nausea). 
Gk, meros ("part") + melia ("limb")
- Sadler, T. W. Langman's Medial Embryology Eleventh Ed.. LWW, p. 140.
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