American scientists are keenly studying the DNA of a 17-year-old girl who still has the body and behaviour of a baby, hoping to gain new insights into the mysteries of ageing.
At 16lb in weight and just 30in tall, Brooke Greenberg is still the size of a one-year-old.
According to a preliminary study of her DNA, her failure to grow could be linked to defects in the genes that make the rest of humanity grow old.
If confirmed, the research could give scientists a fresh understanding of ageing and even suggest new therapies for diseases linked to old age, reports The Times.
"We think that Brooke's condition presents us with a unique opportunity to understand the process of ageing," said Richard Walker, a professor at the University of South Florida School of Medicine, who is leading the research team.
"We think that she has a mutation in the genes that control her ageing and development so that she appears to have been frozen in time.
"If we can compare her genome to the normal version then we might be able to find those genes and see exactly what they do and how to control them."