Desi Badam pollen

Here’s a Badam tree (Terminalia catappa) flowering : When I was trying to get pollen I found this well camouflaged spider hanging around: Not sure if it’s a pollinator or it’s lurking around for pollinators…… Even after avoiding our spider friend, plucking flowers and squashing anthers did not work very well — the pollen was…

CANNABIS CALYXES : glands of cannabinoids

Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), a common road side medicinal weeds in Assam have different uses. Besides ethnomedicinal uses, this plant is also considered as sacred in some part of the region. The plant is unique in its beauty and intoxicating aroma. The female flowers grow long with trichomous sepal and petals. The Cannabis calyx is the…

More Measurements

So here are more trials with measurements on the Foldscope. As pointed out by @laksiyer, there was a discrepancy in my estimated pollen size and the size he estimated in a previous post: Pollen Hunters project-II : Pollen roster Theres also a very recent informative (and beautiful) post on pollen size diversity by @kaushalsood: Viewing…

Viewing and Measuring size of Pollen using Foldscope

In this post, we share our observations on pollen diversity among plants. The sample preparation was kept simple, where pollen were collected directly from flower using a cellophane tape and, the tape was then pasted on the glass slide for observation in foldscope. Photographs were captured at 1x and 4x zoom using the mobile camera….

Human Blood Smears (ID: 1, ID:3) #BIOE 301C

The ID:1 sample was a human blood smear from Southeast Asia, stained and fixed on a microscope slide with coverslip. The defining features in this sample are the large worms stained bright blue. These are parasitic filial worms, Brugia malayi. These worms cause lymphatic filariasis also known as elephantiasis. The smaller blue-stained object is debris….

Hawk Blood Smear, California (ID: 7)

This sample is a stained blood smear of a Hawk found in California, United States.  The hawk appears to have haemosporidian parasites.  The black flecks in the image look may be misshapen red blood cells, which would be indicative of a parasite with a life cycle in red blood cells.  After a bird is infected, parasites finish…

Madagascar: Human Tissue Sample ID10 #BioE301C

When one adventures abroad, you might have misfortune of encountering new diseases that make you their new home. As chilling as that may be, were that to occur to you, you would want to find out what would be causing you to feel unwell. Though your symptoms may vary, the main question is how to…

Measuring pollen

Here’s a common shrub in Chennai: I think there is also a variant with bright yellow flowers. I don’t know the species name, but I’ve posted it on India Biodiversity Portal to see if anyone there can ID it. Heres its pretty flower: There’s a lot of easy to see pollen on the anthers —…

Human feces, Africa (ID: 15)

This sample consisted of human fecal matter collected from the African continent. It was imaged on a prepared slide with the foldscope using a Huawei 5X smartphone. The fecal matter smear tended to appear in clumps, resulting in some trouble finding individual cells to examine. However, by examining the organisms on the edges of the…

Dressing up protozoans (Vital Staining): Tetrahymena Vorax Part 2

Have you ever tried to stain ciliates naively, i.e. without knowing any protocol, just adding methylene blue or some such dye? More than often all one sees are shriveled cells that don’t resemble anything like the live ones. For long, microscopists have used vital stains to stain ciliates live and I have always been wanting…

Mitosis: onion root tip

Tried to capture mitosis, most of the cells were found to be in telophase and late anaphase. More experiments are still in process to get better resolution photos for capturing metaphase.

US, hawk/owl (ID: 6)

A prepared blood smear slide from a owl or hawk in the US was provided for examination with the foldscope. The picture was taken using a smartphone with zoom. Within the blood smear, there were several red blood cells with greatly enlarged nuclei. An internet search on avian blood diseases revealed the appearance of the…

Africa, human blood smear (ID: 4)

A prepared slide of a human blood smear from the African continent was provided for examination with the foldscope. The picture was taken using a smartphone with zoom. Within the blood smear, several unexpected cells were visible. They were irregularly shaped and stained darker than the red blood cells. They were long, thin, and curled…

Africa, Blood Smear (Sample ID #2) #BIOE301C

This sample was an unstained blood sample from Africa. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to find any microbes in this sample. Despite scanning all throughout the sample, zooming in and refocusing, I was unsuccessful in finding anything. This speaks to how difficult it is for health community workers to diagnose diseases on out in the…

South East Asia Blood Smear: Brugia malayi (ID #1) #BIOE301C

 The sample provided was a stained human blood sample from Southeast Asia. Scanning through the sample, we were able to find multiple worm specimens. We were able to capture a few in focus photos. Based on the size and shape, we identified the worms to be a type of nematode and specifically a filarial parasite….

ROTTING FUNGI IN BANANA

Today I have carried out an experiment with the student on the rotting Banana. We were all surprised to see the fungal hyphae in the slide. The hyphal growth and shape of the fungal spore indicate to be some species of Colletotrichum genus.