The nanoscopic world revealed

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2014 to Eric Betzig of Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, USA, Stefan W. Hell Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany and William E. Moerner Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. Two separate principles are rewarded. One enables the method stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, developed by Hell in 2000. Betzig and Moerner, working separately, laid the foundation for the second method, single-molecule microscopy. The method relies upon the possibility to turn the fluorescence of individual molecules on and off. Their powerful analytical techniques opened up the potential of nanoscopy.