Scientists long believed that optical microscopy would never be able to resolve distances smaller than half the wavelength of light, 0.2 micrometres. The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists — Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner — who broke that limit, bringing optical microscopy down to the nanoscale by exploiting the fluorescence or glow of molecules in response to light.
In celebration, NPG is making available a range of articles from its journal archives that capture and reflect their remarkable achievements. Due to their impact and importance the research articles in the Highlights section will be free to access for a month.
Image credit: Image courtesy of Randall Goldsmith and Steven Lee; design by Alex Wing.
Nature Methods' Method of the Year 2008 went to super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. This series of articles—and the related movie—showcase how these novel imaging methods came into their own in 2008 and the incredible impact they promised to have in biological research.
We look back at the relationship between Nature Methods and super-resolution microscopy, one of the technologies we have chosen as one of the top ten methods developments in the ten years since the journal published it first issue.
Optical imaging beyond the diffraction limit of light is revolutionizing sample analysis in the biological and physical sciences. Here Nature Photonics details the fundamental physics, the different approaches and the applications where super–resolution imaging can be of help.
Fluorescence microscopy is acquiring new capabilities as methodological developments allow it to break the diffraction limit—a barrier that until recently prevented light microscopy from being used to interrogate details of cellular function beyond the resolving power of conventional light microscopy.
Tanja Brakemann, Andre C Stiel, Gert Weber, Martin Andresen, Ilaria Testa, Tim Grotjohann, Marcel Leutenegger, Uwe Plessmann, Henning Urlaub, Christian Eggeling, Markus C Wahl, Stefan W Hell & Stefan Jakobs.