Close encounters. These flea's-eye views of a superconducting wire's 60-micrometer niobium strands come from a virtual optical microscope, the latest addition to Molecular Expressions, a Web site run by Michael Davidson's group at the National High Magnet Laboratory, at Florida State University (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/). With the click of a mouse, one can focus on a DNA crystal or zoom in on a moon rock or compact disc. The demos are meant to give kids and other visitors “a really good grasp of what microscopy can do without ever having to touch a microscope,” Davidson says. He plans to add real-time images via a Web Cam later this year. Also on the site are more than 2000 of the magnet lab's 70,000 psychedelic close-ups of everything from liquid crystals to spinach and ice cream, many of which have been licensed for calenders, ties, and other tchotchkes.