I just got my hands on a recent book by two influential biologists, Marc Kirschner, chair of Harvard's recently created Systems Biology Department, and John Gerhart, a professor at UC Berkeley. Their book, The Plausibility of Life, lays out some influential ideas about where biological research should be headed, and it has stimulated a lot of discussion in the systems biology community. I think this book will be a useful vehicle to go over some provocative ideas about what the most exciting questions in biology are right now. So starting this weekend, we'll walk through this book here, chapter by chapter. If you're interested in hashing through some of these ideas, check back here soon. Sorry for the long delay on the first installment. It is up now: Part 1