During 2010, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology is publishing a series of quarterly web features devoted to diverse areas within the journal’s scope. The first of these is on RNA silencing. Since initial observations indicating that small RNAs can mediate this process, silencing has come to be recognized as a key means of gene regulation, participating in a variety of processes across species. Still, research into small RNA-mediated regulation and the scope of this regulation, as well as its role in disease, continues to yield new insights and surprises. The NSMB Web Focus on RNA silencing comprises a core collection encompassing a specially commissioned Perspective; recently published Research Articles covering a range of current topics in the field; and a library that brings together additional recent advances in the field published at NSMB and other Nature journals.