Lichen suspensions as growth media

For some time now, I have been completely bowled over with lichen suspensions (1,2,3). You never know what surprise you’d get. I suppose, it would be so for mosses too.  All I do is to drop a lichen scraping in a small petridish with about 5 ml of bottled water and follow it for days,…

Red algae vs. grass

Recently, my Marine Ecological Systems course took another trip to the intertidal zone near Monterey Bay.  I we were comparing a highly disturbed area to one that is less visited.  It was a bright sunny day, and we visited at mid-tide as the tide was returning.  I took the opportunity to collect a couple of…

Poking around at Point Piños

In early February 2017, my marine ecology class went out to Point Piños to check out its rocky intertidal habitat. Point Piños is located in Pacific Grove, California at the very tip of the Monterey Peninsula, and is located within the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area, and the Monterey Bay National Marine…

Sleuthing in the Elkhorn Slough

Hello Foldscope Community! My name is Anna Holder, and like many others in this community interested in marine ecology, I am in California State University Monterey Bay’s Applied Marine and Watershed Science Master of Science Program. Earlier in the semester, my marine ecology class took a trip out to the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research…

Calanus copepodite?

I selected a small copepod to try out my first real attempt at a dry mount, again using a glass slide and cover slip. I was unable to get my phone to focus on something this small, but here you can see that the copepod is about 2mm long. I tried not to crush my…

Wet-mount preparation of red alga from Monterey Bay

I love to I.D. algae in the intertidal, but red algae can be especially cryptic.  Here I am preparing my sample with a glass slide, and a glass slip that I am holding together with some Scotch tape so that I can wiggle it into place within my foldscope.   The water in my wet…

Hacking A Lower Powered Foldscope

Recently, I decided to undertake a search for micrometeorites (you can read more about them here). Since a good portion of micrometeorites are ferrous, you can use a magnet to search for them. However, not all samples of ferrous particles are potential micrometeorites, so you  will have to examine them. I already have a handheld…

Swimming in the Forgotten Mushroom Goo

Here is my first Foldscope video I filmed on April 12th, 2017! I am getting used to focusing, holding the Foldscope/phone, and optimizing lighting, all at the same time! (Using “Frontiers”  Foldscope, indoor natural light, iPhone 4S) I certainly wasn’t expecting those organisms swimming in this goo. (4/19/2017 update: They are nematodes. Thank you, Laks…

Canterbury bells

The Canterbury Bells also known as bellflowers are absolutely beautiful. They come in shades of blues, purples, white, and pink. I first took a look at the sepal of the flower and noticed something very interesting. The sepal looked like it had hair on it. Just as Flies have protecting hair on its legs it…

Tetrahymena Ciliates

Hello everyone, A few days ago,in college, we were taught how to prepare a hay infusion broth.Our teachers have used pond water sample as an inoculum here.We were told to observe the organisms under our compound microscopes and obviously that was for a limited time which didn’t suffice my curiosity. I wanted to play around…

Exploring seawater a drop at a time.

Recently our class did some casual plankton surveying at the Monterey Coast Guard Jetty. We filled several jars from a plankton tow using a 202 micron net, to focus on living zooplankton, which we observed under dissecting scopes back in the lab. As predicted, evidence of spring was in the water as well as the…

Ode to Spring

Note: Post and videos best viewed while listening to Spring by Antonio Vivaldi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFWQgxXM_b8). Spring has sprung and brought with it a bouquet of color. I plucked an innocuous white blossom and pink peach blossom from two trees, then viewed the petals under the Foldscope. I discovered that Spring’s most vivid and lush landscapes may in fact lie in the…

Copepod from a Plankton Drag

I found a marine copepod with my foldscope!  This little guy was collected from seawater from Monterey, California. On March 2nd, 2017, my Marine Ecological Systems class out of California State University, Monterey Bay,  took a field trip to perform a plankton tow. We arrived at the Monterey Breakwater at 3:30pm, a sunny and warm…

Help me identify these ciliates and flagellates

Without much ado, here are 5 unicellular eukaryotes that were growing in my lichen suspensions. These emerged after almost 4 weeks. I took these videos at the beginning of the year,  and only now found time to collate them. Could you help me identify these? BTW, even after 4 months, I have nematodes and rotifers thriving…

Observing Pollen of different flowers

We at our Pratham Science Exploratory observed pollen of different flowers also found that the number of pollen vary in different flowers. Some flowers have a lot and others have a few.

Exploring Stomata- Pratham Science Program

There are variety of leaves around us. I tried exploring Stomata in leaves of different plants, one each day. This was a wonderful experience knowing and observing plants around our center.        

Queen Ant wings

  A few days back ,I saw ants near the door and an insect with wings that  i belive  the Queen ant (motionless). Then I saw that the wings were different there were colourless patches in some area . First time in my life I wilfully plucked a wing ,gave me chills though it was…

Algae

Received a foldscope today from a friend. Here’s the first photo I took of some algae using the lower res lens.

Exploring the Deep Blue Sea

Sometimes an awesome opportunity presents itself to you. That’s what happened to our class at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital School. Dan A., one of the shark divers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, got connected with one of our teachers (Kathy H.) about bringing an aquarium-like learning experience to our hospital school students. He brought…

Hiking the Tankwa Camino with Foldscope

From 29 Sept to 9 Oct 2016 I took part in a 260km ‘Tankwa Camino’ endurance hike,  which stretches through one of the most desolate regions on earth: South Africa’s Tankwa Karoo. For 10 days our group of 50 hikers covered distances of up to 32kms per day while facing scorching temperatures. My Foldscope was…

Oh, what’s that growing inside my foot. Story of Tunga penetrans 

When you cross through an airport security line; you are often asked if you are carrying any insects or plants. Knowingly, we are not carrying anything back – but what about biodiversity traveling back with you unknowingly. This is the story of Tunga penetrans; one of the smallest fleas that recently hitched a ride in…

Impatiens balsamina

Admiring beauty of these flowers just couldn’t resist studying under foldscope!🙂 Petals: Leaf: L.S. Leaf: T.S. Stem:                                               Section through bud:               Anther:        …

Life Under The Origami Microscope : Our Early Tryst With The Foldscope

We are grateful to Professor Manu Prakash and his Foldscope team at Stanford University for sending us the set of foldscopes. In a short span of time, our SPIE Techno India Student chapter members have assembled the instrument and have started looking at various objects through the Foldscope. We are all having a really enriching…