We have implemented in Python the COmparative GENomic Toolkit, a fully integrated and thoroughly tested framework for novel probabilistic analyses of biological sequences, devising workflows, and generating publication quality graphics. PyCogent includes connectors to remote databases, built-in generalized probabilistic techniques for working with biological sequences, and controllers for third-party applications. The toolkit takes advantage of parallel architectures and runs on a range of hardware and operating systems, and is available under the general public license from http://sourceforge.net/projects/pycogent. © 2007 Knight et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.