I’m in Fort Worth for meeting of the Comparative Biogerontology Initiative consortium, which now has a new acronym (“Comparative Longevity and Aging Determinants across Evolution”) and a much larger team.

Last fall a small group (essentially the original grant applicants) got together to think about the kinds of expertise we would need to assemble in order to pursue a broad study of comparative biogerontology. The motivation behind this idea is that longevity has been “tuned” many times over evolution, often ranging over more than an order of magnitude among species that share the same basic body plan. By studying longevity across species, we hope to be able to identify mechanisms of longevity determination that might reveal as-yet-unexplored strategies for slowing or reversing aging.

We brainstormed, kicked around names, and ended up inviting ~50 people with expertise ranging from aging in wild ungulates to zoo database management. Around 25 have signed on; this week’s meeting represents the first time the group has gotten together in the same place.

I’m probably not going to liveblog this meeting the way I’ve done with other conferences — it’s distracting at the best of times, and more so when I’m expected to be an active participant in the proceedings. Instead, I am going to try to Twitter about interesting points that arise, so check out the tweet feed if you’re interested in following along.

(For Twitter cognoscenti: I’ve created the hashtag #CLADE for all entries pertaining to this meeting. Unfortunately it looks like the hashtags site itself is not updating properly at the moment, so this may not end up being useful in real time. Update: Looks like the Twitter search function on the site is sufficient to the task of aggregating tweets that share a given hashtag.)