National Geographic

Retro Report Looks At the Afterlife of Thalidomide

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the great work at Retro Report in looking back at news stories that were in the headlines decades ago. It was especially gratifying to see all the science they’ve delved into. This morning, they unveiled another fascinating look at the history of science. It’s on the drug thalidomide, which caused dramatic birth defects to children’s arms and legs in the 1950s and led to the modern regulation of medicine.”The Shadow of Thalidomide” features interviews  with the victims of the drug and scientists who discovered new medical uses for it.

Thalidomide’s unexpected benefits actually go beyond medicine. It can also reveal hints about the mystery of how arms and legs develop normally. I wrote about this research for the New York Times.

Here’s the video:

There is 1 Comment. Add Yours.

  1. Kudzu
    September 26, 2013

    If only thalidomide had been pursued as a chemotherapy agent. It makes you wonder how many success stories we have today that could have been repeats of this horror.

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