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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

World's oldest person turns 115

American Edna Parker, the Guinness World Record holder as the world's oldest person celebrated her 115th birthday on Sunday.

Born in April 20, 1893, She was recognized as the world's oldest person by the Guinness World Records last August after the death of the Japanese Yone Minagawa at the age of 114, four months her senior.

Surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers, Parker patiently sat in her wheelchair, her legs covered in a blanket, as she received gifts from Franklin College President Jay Moseley and other officials at the town.

Edna Parker is a 1911 graduate of Franklin College. She gave up her teaching career for the life of a farmer's wife.

Two years ago, researchers took a blood sample from Parker for the group's DNA database of about 100 other people who reached the 110-year milestone.

Scientists who study longevity hope that Parker can help unlock the secrets to long life.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, a California-based organization that verifies reports of extreme ages, there are only 75 people alive - 64 women and 11 men - that are 110 or older.

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