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Microscopy has been the major tool for studies of cells and one of the main driving forces for life sciences research. The birth of microscopy in the 16th century led to the first ‘wave of discovery’: the existence of cells and their internal structures. However, fundamental properties of light impose limitations on light microscopes. These prevent scientists from accurately resolving structures smaller than 300 nanometers (nm) – which is just the size range of many cellular compartments, molecular complexes and viruses.