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Ruthie Weiss’s basketball team seemed to be minutes away from its fourth straight loss. But even as she stood on the sidelines for a brief rest, the nine-year-old had not given up. She convinced the coach to put her back in the game. Then, she charged out onto the court, caught a pass from a teammate and drove straight to the basket. Swish! Ruthie scored a quick two points, putting her team in the lead. As the game clock wound down, she scored again, clinching the victory. The team had earned its first win of the season, and celebrated as if it had just taken the national championship. A couple of parents from the opposing team even stopped by to congratulate Ruthie, who had scored all of her team’s 13 points: “Wow, she’s unbelievable!” they told her mum and dad.

What makes Ruthie’s performance even more extraordinary is her DNA. Because of a misspelling in one of her genes, she has albinism: her body produces very little of the pigment melanin, which means that her skin and hair... see more