While still incomplete, the first data concerning the biochemistry of T cell receptor-ligand interactions in cell-free systems seem to have considerable predictive value regarding whether a T cell response is strong or weak or suppressive. This data will help considerably in elucidating the mechanisms behind T cell responsiveness. Also of great interest are the first structures of T cell receptor molecules and, particularly, TCR-ligand complexes. These appear to confirm earlier suggestions of a fixed orientation for TCR engagement with peptide/MHC and should form the basis for understanding higher oligomers, evidence for which has also just emerged. We conclude with an analysis of the highly diverse CDR3 loops found in all antigen receptor molecules and suggest that such regions form the core of both TCR and antibody specificity.