Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have become a standard tool in functional genomics. Once incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), siRNAs mediate the specific recognition of corresponding target mRNAs and their cleavage. However, only a small fraction of randomly chosen siRNA sequences is able to induce efficient gene silencing. In common laboratory practice, successful RNA interference experiments typically require both, the labour and cost-intensive identification of an active siRNA sequence and the optimization of target cell line-specific procedures for optimal siRNA delivery. To optimize the design and performance of siRNA experiments, we have established the human siRNA database (HuSiDa). The database provides sequences of published functional siRNA molecules targeting human genes and important technical details of the corresponding gene silencing experiments, including the mode of siRNA generation, recipient cell lines, transfection reagents and procedures and direct links to published references (PubMed). The database can be accessed at http://www.human-siRNA-database.net. We used the siRNA sequence information stored in the database for scrutinizing published sequence selection parameters for efficient gene silencing.