Scientists have found a new piece of the puzzle about how the drug thalidomide caused devastating birth defects in thousands of children whose mothers took the drug while pregnant more than 60 years ago.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers reported this week that the drug triggers the degradation of a slew of transcription factors — proteins that help flip genes on or off — including one called SALL4.

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  • Thalidomide acts on transcription factors
    Previously the theory was that it was like an auto immune action. That these babies would have been identified as abnormal and had miscarriage, but this drug prevented the miscarriage. Some research was done on using it for auto immune therapy

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