Business Office Feature

Superresolution microscopy

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  13 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6287, pp. 850-852
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6287.850

Summary

From van Leeuwenhoek to the new millennium, microscopy was governed by one seemingly unbreakable principle: The ability to resolve two objects is constrained by the wavelength of the light used to view them. But in 2000, researchers showed this so-called diffraction limit could be broken, unveiling over the next decade an alphabet soup of superresolution techniques from GSDIM and PALM to SIM, STED, and STORM. The resulting images are both beautiful and revealing, documenting biological phenomena and structures that researchers never even knew they were missing.