The Saccharomyces genome-deletion project created >5900 'molecularly barcoded' yeast knockout mutants (YKO mutants). The YKO mutant collections have facilitated large-scale analyses of a multitude of mutant phenotypes. For example, both synthetic genetic array (SGA) and synthetic-lethality analysis by microarray (SLAM) methods have been used for synthetic-lethality screens. Global analysis of synthetic lethality promises to identify cellular pathways that 'buffer' each other biologically. The combination of global synthetic-lethality analysis, together with global protein-protein interaction analyses, mRNA expression profiling and functional profiling will, in principle, enable construction of a cellular 'wiring diagram' that will help frame a deeper understanding of human biology and disease.