gamricstone writes: Scientists have produced the world's most powerful optical microscope, which could help understand the causes of many viruses and diseases. Previously, the standard optical microscope can only see items around one micrometre — 0.001 millimetres — clearly. But now, by combining an optical microscope with a transparent microsphere, dubbed the 'microsphere nanoscope', the Manchester researchers can see 20 times smaller — 50 nanometres ((5 x 10-8m) — under normal lights. This is beyond the theoretical limit of optical microscopy. "Seeing inside a cell directly without dying and seeing living viruses directly could revolutionize the way cells are studied and allow us to examine closely viruses and biomedicine for the first time."