Teratology, Dysmorphology, Genetics – In Essence

Teratology is the study of alterations of function and form during embryo-feto-genesis and human growth and development.
Implications:  teratogen is any cause (environmental or genetic) acting at any time during development capable to alter any function (physiology) or structure (morphogenesis).

Dysmorphology is the study of Teratology from a clinical perspective of signs, signals and syndromes.
Implications: emphasis on recognition of signs as signals of mechanisms (pathogenesis) and/or causes (etiology) and/or characteristic concurrences of these into syndromes associated with a characteristic natural history (prognosis).

Clinical Genetics is the application of principles of heredity, variation and genetic makeup toward the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of such disorders.
Implications: disorders reflecting impacts of alterations of single genes (mutations and Mendelian inheritance), alterations of chromosomes (cytogenetics) and combination of factors (multifactorial).

NOTE: Reproductive Toxicology is a very broad label focused upon the impacts of “poisons”, for example, lead which is not teratogenic. However, Reproductive Toxicology includes in its scope teratogenic and not teratogenic risk factors and their impact during the prenatal and postnatal development, teratogenic or not, e.g. growth, behavior, etc. These newly coined labels, e.g. Behavioral  Toxicology etc., pose a challenge for the public and funding agencies to distinguish from Teratology and Teratology societies.