Researchers from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology have created the ‘Unknome database’ to address the oversight of poorly understood genes, which are often neglected in scientific research. Despite advances like CRISPR, many of the tens of thousands of genes within the human genome remain enigmatic due to funding biases and the focus on established genes. The database ranks protein genes based on their lack of understanding across various species, highlighting the gap in knowledge. By deleting such genes in laboratory flies, the team revealed their critical roles in animal biology, shedding light on male fertility, development, and stress responses. The database now empowers researchers worldwide to uncover hidden biological insights.