When a copepod smiles back at you..

A few friends and I have been going back and forth to San Francisco Bay; in the hope of starting larger scale sampling of the bay right here. After a few disappointing starts where we seemed to just get sand and silt (churned by the large ships bringing things into the port); we are now…

Tiny bug with a giant ovipositor

I am in Delhi for Diwali, and walking around just trying to observe this city I used to call home many years ago. If you have not been here lately; this is what outside my house looked like on an average day. And in this hustle and bustle (and honking); we forget to notice the…

Micro Fairy at UCMerced ponds

I had fantastic day working with students , undergrads, local high school students – teaching and testing foldscope. We had around 60 participants with lots of high school students from local areas. I am personally inspired to meet the students; and really excited to see what they share and post with the community. Happy to…

Bee sting in the hand

In Copenhagen, I got a chance to go to dinner at Dr Dino Ott’s – a physicist trained at Niels Bohr Institute, an old visiting student and a dear friend. His wife Ana and son joined dinner. Dino visited the lab several years ago when we were building/designing foldscope; and engaged in many parts of…

Foldscoping in Copenhagen – part 2

I am spending two days in Copenhagen – and it’s such a wonderful feeling to see nature integrated in the city. I don’t have to go too far to find natural ecosystems that are not perturbed. Right outside the house; I found a little pond; and here is a Facebook live video of the activity….

BMC Municipal Urdu school Foldscope workshop, Mumbai.

I had been in Mumbai for a few days and was eager to get started with a series of Foldscope workshops we (DBT, Foldscope Instruments, IITB, Ruia college – amongst others) had been planning in Mumbai. Municipal (BMC) schools are spread across the city, and we choose a majority Urdu speaking school with kids ranging…

Foldscoping in Copenhagen ponds

My experience biking and Foldscoping around Copenhagen – watch the video till the end for big surprises. Please tag all the organisms you see here.. Cheers Manu

Wonderful moment in Foldscope teachers workshop at IITB

Jim and I, along with DBT staff scientists, IITB, Ruia college and Dharavi Diary volunteers have been running workshops for teachers and IITB students. In continuation, today we a ran workshop at IITB campus with the focus of sharing experience of teachers. We started with a wonderful series of introductions and journeys that many teachers…

“Muskaan” (smile) of incredible kids in Dharavi basti (Mumbai)

We run and document Foldscope workshops around the world. It’s our work and our passion. And in this process, we meet incredibly kids that amaze us, remind us of why we love science so much and allow us to see a reflection of our future to come. Some members of Foldscope Team (Jim Cybulski and…

Tide pooling at Bandra rocks; Mumbai – a fine early morning

I am in Mumbai for next couple of days to run foldscope workshops. I will write a longer post about the agenda and the plan; but want to share a wonderful Mumbai experience with everyone. It’s all recorded in few minute Facebook Live videos (I am testing that platform to document Foldscoping in the field)…..

Foldscope in the field

We have put a lot of effort in the redesign of the new foldscope kit; to be ultra portable and still provide a large number of tools (20ish) with the microscope – available and ready for you to use. Some time ago, we thought of a pencil box for microscope (since we compare foldscope to…

Mystery of floating jelly balls

I am at Woods Hole this week; and just amazed with the biodiversity in the coastal environments around here. I took a stroll around Wood neck beach, with my 6 year old nephew who just got his first plankton tow. The ocean is connected with a little stream and a current passes back and forth….

Foldscoping from a boat – hello from NZ

I just started a collaboration with Plankton Planet; bringing microscopy on sail boats around the world. An incredible world of plankton – in every drop of the ocean. I will write more about this new work soon; but here is a few snapshots of what it felt like.  To get access to the plankton, you…

More ticks.. 

After my last find of a beautiful tick on a beach (an unusual place I had thought); I have been spotting ticks almost everywhere.  My last post about ticks is here:  How ticks come for a ride?  This time, I was enjoying a lazy afternoon with my kids in my own grass backyard (Glenn Canyon,…

Should I eat this strawberry? 

I hate when food goes to waste. Just as a philosophical point; it seems so much effort was made to bring it to my door; and for one reason or another – my family can not consume it. So when I see my strawberry with a small white patch growing, it’s worth asking a question…

Honey forensics – pollen in honey from St Petersburg 

Today, I had a really fun tea session with the principle and teachers at school number 30, in the heart of St. Petersburg. We ran a foldscope workshop for students from several schools in the area (documentation coming soon).  While drinking my tea with honey, I decided to look at the honey under a foldscope. …

Where ants come from?

I am often perplexed with how many ants I have in my house. If someone could dissolve the whole house but the ants; I think you will still see a skeleton of my house made out of ants. Anyway, I love ants – so I have no problem. My family, not so much. So while…

How ticks come for a ride? 

This is a story of an animal that is a master of hitching a free ride on you; even if you like it or don’t. I am talking about ticks. With all the challenges with Lyme disease – it’s something that all of us should take seriously.  On a beach in Northern California – I…

Kelilalina high school, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

With our partners at PIVOT, CVB and Stanford; we had an incredible opportunity to run large scale workshops in schools in Madagascar. We were fortunate that the workshop was documented by an incredible Japanese crew that documented this. I am quickly sharing this video; that allows you to see what it takes to run an…

Fungal spores and outdoors microscopy

I have a little tin can sitting outside in my backyard. Clearly I was not paying attention and with the rains, it got filled up with water. A week or so later; I saw an incredible “yellow” growth inside. This was a fun opportunity for me to look what’s actually growing. I am also using…

Foldscope on the breakfast table – Dracula orchid

Often the biggest surprises come from places you least expect them. Our dinning tables are often such a source. Sitting down with two TED fellows Neo and Wayne; we had a wonderful conversation until our eyes landed on this beautiful orchid on our breakfast table – a red “dracula blood red orchid”. Now it might…

Comparing outdoors vs table lamp based illumination 

Here I compare outdoors afternoon light as illumination with a regular table lamp illumination; to give foldscope users a perspective on how to select light. Also; I tried an informal narration mode in the video itself. I will do more of these live narration videos to both improve my craft of telling a story on…

Gliding Cyanobacteria – duck pond 

Continuing on samples from the duck pond; here is a video of a gliding Cyanobacteria (possibly oscillatoria). Many fascinating things to see here; speciallyvthe slpw gliding motility which has often been a puzzle in science to uncover. What’s more fascinating is that this gliding trajectory is chiral – and the long filamentous cells are also…

Unknown giant ciliate with colored “vacuole” bodies 

In the same location as last week (Duck pond swamps); Scott, Guillermina and TA’s from Bio60 uncovered a treasure trove of microcorganisms. Here I will list what I have images so far; in a serial fashion.  First up is this beautiful giant ciliate. Over several hours of imaging; it had slowed down its swimming speed…

Traveling kinks – imaging bacteria under a foldscope 

A million surprises are hidden right under our nose (or foot); all we often need to do is just look. And follow our nose (I mean intuition) and answers fall out of the sky. This is an optimists view of science. Let’s make good and careful observations..  At the same swamp (Duck pond swamp, Palo…

Surprise/quiz mystery object 

Dear Foldscope community,  Once a while out in the wild; we see something that really blows our mind. It’s even better when it’s at a microscopic scale.  Here is a question for all of you – try to guess what this is. Just for length scale – this is an object that’s 100um or so. …

Further adventures at lake Lagunita

With rains pouring upon us (which is a good thing for California); we decided to meet at Lake Lagunita for a quick Foldscope session. I had never seen lake Laguinta filled before (remember my past post about finding spider eggs in lake Laguinta here: https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=7652)  Today morning was a different story. We gathered at the…