News

Scientists are studying a 116-year-old San Francisco-born grandma who is the oldest woman in the world to learn her secrets and develop cures for diseases


Scientists are studying a 116-year-old San Francisco-born woman in a bid to discover her secrets to a long life and to develop cures for diseases.

The centenarian, Maria Branyas, is the oldest person in the world and has no health complications other than hearing and mobility issues. 

The ‘Super Grandmother,’ who regularly updates her followers on X (previously Twitter), beat Covid-19 in 2020 and survived the Spanish Civil War, a deadly earthquake in the US and a major fire. 

She advises anyone hoping to live a long life to cut out ‘toxic people’ and avoid ‘excess.’

Maria Branyas, the daughter of a journalist from Pamplona, Spain, was born in San Francisco, California, on March 4, 1907, but returned to Spain as a child

Maria Branyas, the daughter of a journalist from Pamplona, Spain, was born in San Francisco, California, on March 4, 1907, but returned to Spain as a child

Dr Manel Esteller (right), director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC-CERCA) and a professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, has taken DNA samples, including saliva, urine and blood, from Ms Branyas, whom he visited at her care home in Olot, Gerona, in northern Spain

Dr Manel Esteller (right), director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC-CERCA) and a professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, has taken DNA samples, including saliva, urine and blood, from Ms Branyas, whom he visited at her care home in Olot, Gerona, in northern Spain

Unlike most people her age, she has zero cardiovascular problems nor memory issues, and can recount stories from the age of four as if they happened yesterday

Unlike most people her age, she has zero cardiovascular problems nor memory issues, and can recount stories from the age of four as if they happened yesterday

The 116-year-old has previously credited eating natural yogurt each day for her longevity

The goal of the research is to help develop drugs capable of combating diseases typically caused by old age

Asked about her secret to a long life, she previously tweeted: ‘Order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, lots of positivity and away from toxic people’

Unlike most people her age, she has zero cardiovascular problems and no memory issues, and can recount stories from the age of four as if they happened yesterday.  

‘She’s incredible,’ said Dr Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC-CERCA) and a professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona. 

Dr Esteller has taken DNA samples, including saliva, urine and blood, from Ms Branyas, whom he visited at her care home in Olot, Gerona, in northern Spain. 

He told Spanish newspaper ABC: ‘She has a completely lucid head. She remembers with impressive clarity episodes of her when she was only four years old, and she does not present any cardiovascular disease, common in elderly people. The only thing she has are mobility and hearing problems.’

Dr Esteller, a world leader in genetics, wants to discover how far Ms Branyas’ genes go in explaining her longevity, and how much is to do with her lifestyle. 

Ms Branyas, the daughter of a journalist from Pamplona, was born in San Francisco, California, on March 4, 1907, but returned to Spain as a child. She lived in different areas of the Catalunya region and had three children. 

The 116-year-old has previously credited eating natural yogurt each day for her longevity, and avoiding ‘excesses’, adding: ‘I have always eaten little, but everything, and I have never followed any regime. I have not suffered from any illness or been through an operating room.’

Asked about her secret to a long life, she previously tweeted: ‘Order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, lots of positivity and away from toxic people.’

However she admitted she also believes it is down to genes and ‘luck’, which Dr Esteller agrees with. 

He explained: ‘It is clear that there is a genetic component because there are several members of her family who are over 90 years old.’

To what extent her genes have shielded her from age-related deterioration is what his team will try to discover in the lab. 

He added: ‘What is clear is that she is a person with an extraordinary capacity for resilience… She is a true survivor.’

The study will analyze six billion segments of her DNA, focusing on 200 genes directly related to aging. The results will be compared, according to Dr Esteller, with those obtained from her middle daughter, who is 79 years old. 

She has another daughter who is 90 years old and a son who died in an accident when he was 77 years old. 

The goal of the research is to help develop drugs capable of combating diseases typically caused by old age. 

Dr Esteller said: ‘We hope the study of Maria’s cells will give us new clues about how to address neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases associated with age, and cancer.’



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button