Friday, January 04, 2008

"Hobbits" May Have Been Genetic Mutants

A rare disease characterized by small brain and body size but near normal intelligence is caused by mutations in a gene coding for the protein pericentrin, researchers have found.

The scientists speculate that the condition may explain the tiny, hobbitlike people that occupied a remote, Indonesian island about 18,000 years ago -- adding fuel to the debate over whether the unusual creatures were a new species or just diseased modern humans.

And around and around we go . . . which, in science, is often as it should be.

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