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Although our understanding of small RNA pathways has progressed rapidly in the past decade, new questions continue to emerge, reflecting our ever more precise and comprehensive methods to quantify the abundance of molecular species and, consequently, the regulatory impact of small RNAs. This meeting seeks to catalyze the open exchange of ideas about the molecular mechanisms by which small RNAs are made and function, the quantitative interplay among small RNAs, between small RNAs and targets, and, ultimately, the consequences of these interactions for cellular function, in normal and pathological states. Special emphasis is placed on showcasing the work of young investigators, and on complementary approaches for studying gene regulation by small RNAs. Finally, the meeting seeks to continue the intellectually rigorous but congenial atmosphere that is the tradition of this exciting field.