A medical mystery is occurring in Ecuador. 100 unique individuals reside in a small mountainside village in the southern part of the country, and all have something in common – a rare genetic disorder called Laron Syndrome, a type of dwarfism where the height of the person averages out to 1.2 meters (or just about 4 feet).
These 100 people make up 1/3 of the entire population in the village. It’s a mystery as to why so many in one particular village are all affected with the disorder, but that’s not the only thing peculiar about them.
Virtually none of the people with Laron Syndrome have diabetes or cancer. It appears that the same genetic mutation that causes the unusually small stature also provides immunity from two extremely common diseases that continue to plague mankind.
Since 1988 there haven’t been any cases of diabetes and only one case of non-lethal cancer on record. Scientists are studying whether this link can somehow be used to produce drugs that slow the growth rate of cancer.