Glycosylation is the most common form of protein and lipid modification but its biological significance has long been underestimated. The last decade, however, has witnessed the rapid emergence of the concept of the sugar code of biological information: Indeed, monosaccharides represent an alphabet of biological information similar to amino acids and nucleic acids, but with unsurpassed coding capacity. This special issue of Acta Anatomica presents a collection of stimulating and attractively illustrated reviews devoted exclusively to state-of-the-art concepts and methods in glycobiology. By interaction with endogenous receptors (lectins), glycans are pertinent to many aspects of the biological behavior of cells, tissues and organisms. The chapters do not only highlight the latest findings but also evaluate the impact these advances have on our understanding of cell adhesion in fertilization, inflammation, differentiation, human disease and on drug design. Providing an up-to-date reference source, this publication will be a valuable primer for scientists and graduate-level students from the fields of anatomy, histology, cell biology, pathology, cancer research, pharmacology and pharmaceutical chemistry.