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Although the impact of the versions of the sequence of the human genome published by Venter et al. in this issue of Science and by the publicly funded project in this week's issue of Nature will be enormous, it can be difficult to evaluate what is being represented or how to use it. Galas provides a user-friendly guide to some of the fundamental aspects of the genome sequences that have been presented. He also includes a number of tools and approaches to gene finding and gene structure that can provide access to the new data for the working biologist.