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Congenital malformations are worldwide occurrences striking in every condition of society. These severe physical abnormalities which are present at birth and affecting every part of the body happen more often than usually realized, once in every 33 births. The most common, after heart defects, are those of the neural tube (the brain and spinal cord) which happen in as many as one in every 350 births. They have been noted as curiousities in man and beast throughout recorded history and received great attention in our time by various fields of study, for example, their faulty prenatal development by embryologists, familial patterns by geneticists, causation by environmentalists and variability by population scientists.