An ever more complete picture of the organization and function of the endocytic pathway is emerging. New mechanisms, and in particular lipid- based mechanisms that couple membrane dynamics and sorting, are being unraveled. But the final picture is still coming into focus as new membrane domains, cell entry pathways and compartments come into view. Of special interest are the recent findings that pathogenic agents, in contrast to scientists, seem to have long discovered how to subvert membrane specialization to their own advantage.