Scientists testing for Northern Ireland "giant gene"

Scientists in Belfast want to establish if the genetic blip that saw an 18th Century Irishman sprout to more than seven-and-a-half feet is widespread in the area he was from.

A geneticist at Queen's University has appealed for people whose families originate from the east Tyrone and south County Londonderry areas to take part in screening for gigantism.

Professor Patrick Morrison said they would test DNA for an altered gene that can cause the body to produce too much growth hormone.

He said that most of the people who have the condition do not know they have it and suffer no ill effects.

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