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Viewed through microscopes similar to Hooke’s, most cells are see-through and colorless; it’s hard to discern fine features. Due to diffraction, the bending of light, objects smaller than about 250 nanometers — the size of the smallest bacteria — are fuzzy when viewed through an optical microscope, if they can be seen at all. (Consider that most proteins are merely a few nanometers across.) This diffraction barrier, explicitly defined by German physicist Ernst Abbe in 1873, makes a smeared blur of much that happens in and on a cell.

That’s all changed in the last few decades. Scientists have developed a suite of new optical techniques that circumvent the diffraction barrier and show us a cell’s full guts and glory. With new fluorescent tags that light up structures in the dense darkness inside a cell these new optical approaches produce detailed images of what was once invisible. In the pages that follow, some of the most striking images are highlighted, all from animal cells that scientists use to understand basic cellular processes and disease. (1)

Breaking the diffraction barrier.
Breaking the sound barrier.
Breaking the speed of light barrier.


No, that cannot be broken.

Or can it?

We have a tendency of “discovering” barriers.
And then we like to “discover” that they are not barriers at all…

Why not accept the world as a whole?
Without barriers.
Just us.
Doing whatever we like.
No “laws”. No “limits”. No “barriers”.
Once upon a time we were more powerful than the stars.
Now we look down at the Earth as if we are small small ants…