In situ hybridisation methodology is reviewed with particular emphasis on the latest modifications of technique. Methodology is evaluated, with suggestions on how to maximise its successful application. Emphasis is placed upon non-radioactive techniques which can be used by morphologically orientated laboratories, and details of the use of digoxigenin-labelled oligonucleotide probes are given special mention. Recent applications in morphology, and neurobiology, virology, pathology and cytogenetics are detailed. Developments where significant advances have been made in the biomedical sciences are highlighted.