Microscopy strikes again! Nobel price 2017 goes to cryo-electron microscopy

October 4th 2017: a new star is shining in the microscopy universe.

The last century was sprinkled with Nobel prizes for this fast-growing and fascinating discipline that has been revolutionizing the way we see and study life.

Here a short list on the most impactful microscopy techniques awarded in the last 70 years:

  • 1953: Zernike is awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his demonstration of the phase contrast method, especially for his invention of the phase contrast microscope”
  • 1971: Gabor wins the Nobel prize in Physics “for his invention and development of the holographic method”
  • 2008: Shimomura, Chalfie & Tsien win the Nobel Prize for the discovery and “development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP
  • 2014: Moerner, Betzig & Hell “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”
  • 2017: Dubochet, Frank and Henderson for “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution”.

The trend is clear: increasing resolution to unveil the deepest secrets of the basic units of life and approaching more and more the natural, physiologic way cells are found in our bodies: in 3D, unstained and alive.

We warmly congratulate these three visionary researchers and we can’t wait to learn who will be the next!