The ultimate objective of biomedical research is to connect human diseases with the genes that underlie them and drugs that treat them. But this remains a daunting task, and even the most inspired researchers still have to resort to laborious screens of genetic or chemical libraries. What if at least some parts of this screening process could be systematized and centralized? And hits found and hypotheses generated with something resembling an internet search engine? These are the questions the Connectivity Map project set out to answer.