The quest for the discovery of novel natural products has entered a new chapter with the enormous wealth of genetic data that is now available. This information has been exploited by using whole-genome sequence mining to uncover cryptic pathways, or biosynthetic pathways for previously undetected metabolites. Alternatively, using known paradigms for secondary metabolite biosynthesis, genetic information has been 'fished out' of DNA libraries resulting in the discovery of new natural products and isolation of gene clusters for known metabolites. Novel natural products have been discovered by expressing genetic data from uncultured organisms or difficult-to-manipulate strains in heterologous hosts. Furthermore, improvements in heterologous expression have not only helped to identify gene clusters but have also made it easier to manipulate these genes in order to generate new compounds. Finally, and perhaps the most crucial aspect of the efficient and prosperous use of the abundance of genetic information, novel enzyme chemistry continues to be discovered, which has aided our understanding of how natural products are biosynthesized de novo, and enabled us to rework the current paradigms for natural product biosynthesis.