Published: 01-12-2014 08:46 | Updated: 01-12-2014 08:48

Another of this year’s Nobel prizes linked to KI

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry also has strong links to life sciences and to KI. Super-resolution has revolutionised light microscopy and given scientists new tools for studying events at a molecular level in living cells.

The limit of light microscopy was calculated back in the 1800s: approximately 0.2 micrometers. Resolution any higher than this was considered a physical impossibility. However, in the past decade this limit has been elegantly circumvented with lasers and fluorescent markers, enabling biologists to study processes in living cells at a much higher resolution than ever before. It is an innovation that has earned Stefan Hell, Eric Betzig and W.E. Moerner the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Sweden’s centre for super-resolution microscopy is Advanced Light Microscopy (ALM) at SciLifeLab in Solna. ALM is a national research infrastructure resource that is open to scientists from around the country.

“Super-resolution gives us unprecedented access to molecular mechanisms,” says ALM director Hjalmar Brismar, whose research group at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health uses the technique. “We don’t only see the presence of a protein, but also where it is and how it moves.”

The earliest adopters of the new tool have been neuroscientists and microbiologists.

Text: Anders Nilsson

View a news clip from SVT on the Nobel-winning discovery. (In Swedish.)