About 12,000 proteins are produced in typical human cells – more than 120,000 various proteins in total. Matthias Mann at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, has set himself the target of establishing a protein library of the human body. Not an easy project - because in contrast to genes, proteins are extremely variable. In addition, many various factors influence which proteins a cell produces. Nevertheless, Mann is able to identify the proteins with mass spectrometry, nanochromatography and special computer software.