Highly recommended: How the optical microscope became a nanoscope (Nobel Prize "popular information")
As reported by Inside Science News Service:
By Chris Gorski, Senior Editor
Oct. 8, 2014
(Inside Science) – The 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to an American neuroscientist, a German biochemist and an American chemist "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy."
The prize goes jointly to Eric Betzig, from the Howard Hughes Medical Center in Ashburn, Virginia, Stefan W. Hell, from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, in Göttingen, Germany, and William E. Moerner, from Stanford University in Stanford, California.
"What this year's prize is about is beating the diffraction limit of light," said Trisha Andrew, a chemist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "You can actually image directly very, very small features that are below the resolution of the visible light that everyone uses."
Hell has used [these techniques] to investigate living nerve cells. Moerner studied Huntington's disease with the techniques. Betzig watched cell division within embryos.
All of the preceding text is from Chris Gorski's article in Inside Science News Service. Read the whole piece for deeper insight.