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Oldest case of Down syndrome unearthed

Archaeologists have found a skeleton of a child with Down syndrome that’s 1500 years old, making it the earliest known case of the genetic disorder. Signs that the 5- to 7-year-old had the condition include thin cranial bones and a short and broad-shaped skull, New Scientist reports. The remains were found in a tomb near a church in eastern France, and excavations of nearby burial sites suggest that the child was not stigmatized because of its condition, but treated like everyone else, the authors argue in the International Journal of Paleopathology.

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