David Wood

The Abolition of Aging

Date Aired: September 8, 2017

Episode Description

David Wood posits that there is a 50 % chance that, by the year 2040, rejuvenation therapies will be widely available that will allow all of us to remain youthful indefinitely. As the results of ten years of research and his commitment to futurist and technoprogressive topics, David Wood discusses the possibility of a radical extension of human longevity and the reversal of the aging process. He discussed the technical feasibility of the abolition of aging as well as the clash of paradigms: accepting-aging vs. anticipating rejuvenation.

The ability of accelerating technology in many fields

Smart phones in a short period of time are every where

Figured this would help with lifespans


  • Young bounce back quickly: repair quickly. As we age, these repair mechanisms get damaged.  car gets rusty.  Can last a lot longer if do maintenance.
  • Aubrey de Grey pointed out number of different kinds of damage. If we undue this damage we could become youthful
  • Kinds of damage
    • Stem cells stop working and recreate. Ned to learn to reprogram and reset
    • Zombie or senescent cells. When young, these cells are recycled as we get older these cells are not eliminated, and  the dead cells cause problems.  We need to become better at recovering the material in these cells.  This can be done by changing our genetic makeup.
    • Damage to the linkages, connections (advanced glycation products or AGE). This is a gluey material which slows down the body processes
    • Adverse response to stress (which involves cortisol which directs they body’s metabolic processes in the wrong direction
    • Chronic inflammation which is a contributing factor to all diseases
    • The Ability to manage proteins
    • Effects of metabolism
    • Damage to DNA
    • Problems with epigenetics and regulatory DNA gene expression
    • Difficulties with the immune system.


  • He does not think that life style changes alone are sufficient to sustain life until age 120


  • Nano tech technology (Eric Drexler) is the ability to manipulate molecules . for example we have gone from surgery to micro surgery which may in the future extend to nano surgery (little computers the size of blood cells into the body operated by sensors and gradients supplemented with their own computer so they can do very specific tasks when they get to the right location.
  • Crisper mechanism to edit genes
    • He believes that we can precisely target genes
  • Extension of 3 D bio-printing technology
    • This involves synthetic material or human material generated from stem cells
    • We can already make heart valves with this technology


  • The ability to become young again. We will have the same vitality of people who are chronologically younger than us.
  • He believes that by year 2040 there will be a fifty percent chance that the technology. Obstacles creating his uncertainty include
    • The public mindset
      • “It is not natural”
    • The difficulties in different groups cooperating (researchers, activists as well as methods for reducing costs)
      • He sees increasing cooperation in places such as Wikepedia, youtube, etc…


  • Medicine has the same aspiration of extending life


  • He hopes it will be available for everyone although he is disheartened by the increased cost of pharmaceutical medication


  • Malthus predicted that there would not be enough agriculture for the increased population
  • He believes we can develop technologies to feed 100 billion people
  • We are using only one percent of the biomass
  • We can grow healthy foods through (surgical?) farming and using synthetic biology
  • We can build healthy skyscrapers and consider inhabiting other planets
  • We need to be smart in handling waste and pollution
  • We need to get the smartness of human ingenuity to apply itself to these problems


  • He believes that health is a positive things and that this can coexist with religious beliefs


  • Since 1840, the life expectancy has been increasing by 2.5 years every ten years
  • In 1840s, the life expectancy was 45. In some places the life expectancy is currently 85. Years.
    • Improved child health care
    • Reducing smoking
  • He is looking at a more radical extension of life span
  • This requires
    • new interventions such as 3 D printing, nano technology, stem cell therapy.
    • A new mindset: that if we want to focus on disease, we need to focus on aging


  • His work changed peoples’ ideas as to whether aging was fixed or plastic.
  • By unnatural selection, he picked out the groups of fruit flies that laid eggs later in life. In the end, these fruit flies lived four times a long as the other fruit flies.  They were also as healthy as other fruit flies.
  • Others have done genetic changes in C Elegans worms that multiplied their lives ten fold.
  • There were studies at Albert Einstein Medical center where they studied families in which many lived beyond age 100. This family did not have healthy life styles  Ashkanaski  Jewish people
  • Fox 03 gene


  • Studied C Elegan worms
  • Works in Caligo which was set up by Google
    • They are looking at ways to influence genes. Her approaches most likely include
      • Caloric Restriction
      • Drugs that trigger apoptosis (cell death of the senescent cells),
      • looking at biomarkers


  • Some would say what hope is there when there are incurable diseases
  • Curing aging might be an approach that is better than addressing diseases.
  • In Alzheimer’s Disease, there is a suggestion that injecting young blood into older animals, the older mice had healthier, brains, hearts and muscles.
    • Dale Bredesen, MD has done research reversing the cognitive decline by addressing the various pathways and mechanisms involved.


  • Doing genetic reprogramming
  • She introduced genetic material injected into herself
    • He introduced teleromase which makes telomeres at end of DNA chromosomes longer which led to many part of her bodies appearing younger
    • She introduced Folistatin to strengthen muscles
      • To prevent sarcopenia (muscle wasting) which comes with age.

AUBREY de GREY from SENS (Strategies for Engineering Negligible Senescence)

  • Senescence – as we get older our bodies work less well
  • He identified seven categories of aging
    • cell loss and tissue atrophy
    • cancer cells
    • mitochondrial mutation
    • death resistance cells senescence
    • extracellular matrix stiffening
    • extra cellular aggregates
    • intra cellular aggregates
  • In dealing with damage in mitochondrial DNA, Aubrey speculated that DNA would be more protected from damage if we move some genetic material from mitochondria into cell where can be protected