Microscopes are biologists' window to life — and advances in microscopy over recent years are revealing some breathtaking new views. Here Nature profiles five microscopes that are changing the ways that researchers see the world, and examines the challenges involved in collecting and interpreting the microscopic image.
All in the details
Image on the right: A 3D reconstruction of a Purkinje cell dendrite acquired on the ultrahigh-voltage electron microscope at Osaka. The specimen was 4 microns thick, allowing for examination of the dendrite and spines in their entirety. By imaging thick samples, researchers can study large biological structures at high resolution while avoiding cutting them into sections.