The magnified view: from ancient trinkets to single nuclear pore complexes

Boris Fichtman, Amnon Harel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A journey from the earliest known use of lenses and magnifying glasses in ancient times, through the development of microscopes and towards modern electron microscopy techniques. The evolving technology and improved microscopes enabled the discovery of intracellular organelles, the nucleus and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Current advances have led to composite three-dimensional models showing NPC structure in unprecedented detail but relying on the averaging of many images. A complementary approach is field emission scanning electron microscopy providing topographic surface images that are easily and intuitively interpreted by our brain. Recent advances in this technique have made it possible to expose nuclei from human cells and to focus on individual NPCs and their architectural features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2590-2596
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. FEBS Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


We thank Vasilisa Aksenova and Mary Dasso for the generous gift of AID::NUP358 DLD1 cells. Research in our laboratory is supported by a research grant from the Israel Science Foundation (338/22).

FundersFunder number
Vasilisa Aksenova and Mary DassoNUP358 DLD1
Israel Science Foundation338/22


    • RanBP2/NUP358
    • ancient lenses
    • auxin-induced degron
    • magnifying glasses
    • nuclear pore complex
    • scanning electron microscopy


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