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Just imagine: An optical lens so powerful that it lets you view features the size of a small virus on the surface of a living cell in its natural environment.

Construction of instruments with this capability is now possible because of a fundamental advance in the quality of an optical material used in
hyperlensing, a method of creating lenses that can resolve objects much smaller than the wavelength of light. The achievement was reported by a team of researchers led by Joshua Caldwell, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, in a paper published Dec. 11 in the journal Nature Materials.

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