Cyclopian child born in Chennai, India

Scott Carney, a tech journalist who lives in Chennai, India, says:

A one-eyed child suffering from a rare chromosomal disorder known as cyclopia was born in a hospital in Chennai earlier this week. The disorder occurs during pregnancy when the cells that constitute the forebrain fail to develop properly and fuse into a single eye. Instances of cyclopia are generally attributed to outside factors like ambient pollution, radiation, drugs and the introduction of other agents that can alter fetal development.

The pictures bare an eerie resemblance to images of Love Canal, a suburban community built on top of the most notorious toxic waste dump in New York State. While the small town was still populated, several children were born without eyes and cancer was hundreds of times the normal rate.


Reader comment: Hal says,

The deformity of the cyclops baby is caused by a morphogen or "form-producing substance." that creates the shape of the brain and face. In this case, the morphogen did not work correctly. Here's the odd bit, the name of the morphogen is "Sonic Hedgehog" (or "Shh"). Links to cite: one, two, three.