An intriguing medical mystery is unfolding with the help of a small group of dwarfs living in southern Ecuador.

The Laron dwarfs, as they are called, carry a genetic mutation that inhibits production of the growth hormone receptor.

  When researchers began studying the dwarfs, they noticed something remarkable: the mutation that stunted their growth also prevented them from having cancer and diabetes.  VOA's Melinda Smith has more on this story.