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Boy becomes a molecular scientist aged just 13 and still fits in athletics training

A 13-year-old boy has casually become the youngest molecular biologist on the planet.

Ian Santos, from Guadalajara in Mexico, has always been a gifted child - at just 18 months he had the vocabulary of an adult, and could read by the age of three.

Children typically start learning to read between four and seven, but Ian already had a high IQ aged six and by nine, he had finished primary, secondary and high school.

He then enrolled in a bachelor's degree at the University of Guadalajara where he studied with students more than twice his age.

Halfway through this course, Ian decided to start a master's degree in biological pharmaceutical chemistry at the same time, and has now graduated with honours in both.

He said: 'From a very young age I had knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, hematology and molecular biology. I also participated in general chemistry competitions.

'I won first and second place and at that point, I said: "I need to learn more, I need to go deeper."'

The child genius also competes as a high-performance athlete, running the 80 and 150-metre dashes in track and field.

Ian trains three to four hours a day and hopes to one day represent Mexico at the Olympics.

Ian's mum Sandra told Spanish news agency EFE how her son struggled at school, despite being so brilliant.

He was often bullied and struggled with teachers who wanted to treat him the same as everyone else, she said.

Eventually, in the fourth grade, Sandra decided to home-school Ian and help him get to where he is today - 'a happy child, a full child'.

Ian's family even relocated from their home-city Puerto Vallarta so he could study at the right university.

He plans to study for his PhD and wants to research premature cellular ageing and disease prevention so his hard work will 'bear fruit and support humanity'.

But he is not sure what his next step is just yet, although he has received offers from universities in both the US and Spain.

On top of all this, Ian still finds time to enjoy being a regular little boy. He is a fan of Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo, has two pet cats, enjoys electronic and pop music and loves playing Grand Theft Auto.

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