DNA segments that actively regulate transcription in vivo are typically characterized by eviction of nucleosomes from chromatin and are experimentally identified by their hypersensitivity to nucleases. Here we demonstrate a simple procedure for the isolation of nucleosome-depleted DNA from human chromatin, termed FAIRE (Formaldehyde-Assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements). To perform FAIRE, chromatin is crosslinked with formaldehyde in vivo, sheared by sonication, and phenol-chloroform extracted. The DNA recovered in the aqueous phase is fluorescently labeled and hybridized to a DNA microarray. FAIRE performed in human cells strongly enriches DNA coincident with the location of DNaseI hypersensitive sites, transcriptional start sites, and active promoters. Evidence for cell-type-specific patterns of FAIRE enrichment is also presented. FAIRE has utility as a positive selection for genomic regions associated with regulatory activity, including regions traditionally detected by nuclease hypersensitivity assays.