The RIKEN expression array database (READ) provides comprehensive gene expression data for the mouse, which were obtained as relative values from microarray double-staining experiments with E17.5 mRNA as common reference. To assign absolute expression values for mouse transcripts within READ, we applied the E17.5 reference sample to CAGE (cap analysis of gene expression) and expressed sequence tag (EST) high-throughput tag sequencing. Newly assigned values within the READ database were validated by comparison to expression data from serial analysis of gene expression, CAGE and EST experiments. These experiments confirmed the great significance of the absolute expression values within the improved READ database. The new Absolute READ database on absolute expression data is available under.