6. Some Native Ecuadorean Sufferers Of Laron Syndrome Are Immune To Cancer And Diabetes
Laron syndrome is an ailment that causes mutation in the human growth hormone receptor, leading to dwarfism. It is common among members of a tribe in a remote village in Ecuador. No one thought much of the syndrome until Dr. Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, who had been working with the tribe, realized that tribesmen with the syndrome were almost immune to diabetes and cancer.
In contrast, tribesmen without the syndrome were highly susceptible to cancer and diabetes. To confirm his suspicion, Guevara-Aguirre partnered with Dr. Valter D. Longo of the University of Southern California to run lab tests with serum made from genes of the Laron patients.
The researchers added the serum to human cells that had been deliberately damaged. They discovered that the serum stopped these cells from experiencing more genetic damage. At the same time, these cells destroyed themselves instead of turning cancerous.