Barrier-Breaking Microscopy Wins Nobel

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to three scientists who developed molecular-level microscopy. The award will be shared equally by Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia; Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany; and William Moerner of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The three overcame the "diffraction limit" of light by using florescence to get smaller objects to emit light and illuminate their details. Nobel Prizes in medicine and physics have already been awarded this week.