Two brothers have become the subjects of an extremely unusual medical investigation, because they enter a vegetative state whenever the sun goes down. Nine-year-old Abdul Rasheed and Shoaib Ahmed, his 13-year-old big bro, have been nicknamed the ‘Solar Kids’, but doctors have ruled out the bonkers-but-fitting theory that their bodies are totally reliant on sunlight, as they can move as normal in a dark room during the day.
Abdul and Shoaib can neither move or talk at night, and medics have absolutely no idea why. “We took this case as a challenge,” said Javed Akram, a professor of medicine at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. “Our doctors are doing medical tests to determine why these kids remain active in the day but cannot open their eyes, why they cannot talk or eat when the sun goes down.”
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Samples of their blood have been sent to specialists all over the world, and the soil and air samples from the family’s village are also being analysed. Abdul and Shoaib's parents are first cousins, which certainly explains the presence of genetic abnormalities in the boys, but we've never heard about anything like this before. Somebody call Scully and Mulder. [Guardian]