This paper is an introduction to the supplemental issue of the journal PROTEINS, dedicated to the seventh CASP experiment to assess the state of the art in protein structure prediction. The paper describes the conduct of the experiment, the categories of prediction included, and outlines the evaluation and assessment procedures. Highlights are improvements in model accuracy relative to that obtainable from knowledge of a single best template structure; convergence of the accuracy of models produced by automatic servers toward that produced by human modeling teams; the emergence of methods for predicting the quality of models; and rapidly increasing practical applications of the methods. Proteins 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.