World's oldest person turns 117 offering glimmer of hope to beat ageing

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Maria Branyas Morera is the worlds oldest living person. — Guinness World Record
Maria Branyas Morera is the world's oldest living person. — Guinness World Record

Maria Branyas Morera, the world's oldest living person born in San Francisco in 1907, celebrated her 117th birthday on Monday and scientists have realised she might have the answer to beat ageing.

Maria has resided in Catalonia, Spain, since the age of eight, spending the past 23 years in the same nursing home. She assumed the title of the oldest living person following the passing of French nun Lucile Randon, who lived to 118 years old in January last year.

Despite her advanced age, Maria remains active on social media, sharing her experiences on X, formerly Twitter. In a post on Monday, she wrote: "Good morning, world. Today I turn 117 years old. I've come this far."

Maria exhibits remarkable health, with only minor hearing and mobility challenges which has intrigued scientists to study her genetics to uncover the secrets to her remarkable health.

Maria blows candles on a cake on her 115th birthday. — News Flash
Maria blows candles on a cake on her 115th birthday. — News Flash

Maria's cognitive sharpness and lack of cardiovascular issues at her age are particularly noteworthy.

Maria has agreed to participate in scientific testing, providing samples of saliva, blood, and urine for comparison with her 80-year-old daughter's.

Researchers hope these studies will lead to advancements in anti-ageing drugs and combat age-related diseases.

Throughout her long life, Maria has witnessed significant historical events, including the 1918 pandemic, both World Wars, and Spain's civil war.

Married in 1931 to Catalan doctor Joan Moret, Maria has outlived her husband and their only son, who passed away in a tragic accident.

Despite her age, Maria remains resilient, surviving COVID-19 at 113 and reclaiming normalcy after a brief hospitalisation.

Maria's legacy extends through generations with 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren from two daughters.

The oldest person ever was Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age of 122.