Preface; M. Long. 1. The contribution of RNAs and retroposition to evolutionary novelties; J. Brosius. 2. The emergence of a synthetic theory of intron evolution; S.J. De Souza. 3. Introns in gene evolution; L. Fedorova, A. Fedorov. 4. Functional divergence in protein (family) sequence evolution; Xun Gu. 5. The EBG system of E. coli: Origin and evolution of a novel beta-galactosidase; B.G. Hall. 6. The fucosyltransferase gene family: An amazing summary of the underlying mechanisms of gene evolution; C. Javaud, F. Dupuy, A. Maftah, R. Julien, J.-M. Petit. 7. Origin of new genes: Evidence from experimental and computational analyses; M. Long, M. Deutsch, Wen Wang, E. Betran, F. Brunet, Jianming Zhang. 8. Transposable elements and vertebrate protein diversity; A. Lorenc, W. Makalowski. 9. Birth of human-specific genes during primate evolution; J.-L. Nahon. 10. Evolution by gene duplication revisited: Differentiation of regulatory elements vs proteins; T. Ohta. 11. Modular assembly of genes and the evolution of new functions; L. Patthy. 12. Origin and evolution of a new gene expressed in the Drosophila sperm axoneme; J.M. Ranz, A.R. Ponce, D.L. Hartl, D. Nurminsky. 13. Molecular mechanisms of exon shuffling: Illegitimate recombination; A.van Rijk, H. Bloemendal. 14. Recent evidence for the exon theory of genes; S.W. Roy. 15. The universe of exons revisited; S. Saxonov, W. Gilbert. 16. Population-genetic models of the fates of duplicate genes; B. Walsh.