When I first used the Foldscope in my Biology class I honestly didn’t expect to see much with my sample from the rose petal that my Professors had so kindly brought to class. In the class we had been warned that we would most likely not be able to see much from samples that were quite opaque, because the light would be unable to travel through it to produce a clear image. When I held the rose petal up against the light it was indeed difficult to see light shine through it. However, I still wanted to give it a try and in light of the results I am very grateful that I did.
To prepare the slide I cut a small piece of the rose petal in a thin slice and mounted it onto the slide using a pair of tweezers. I decided to use a wet mount because I hoped it would help with the light diffraction through the rose petal. Next, I mounted a lamp to the desk I was working on and attached my Foldscope on top with a magnet from the kit. Lastly, I tried to attach my phone to the apparatus, again using the provided magnets; however, this did not work as the new iPhone model repels the magnets, so I had to use my TA’s phone instead.
The biggest struggle I faced during this entire process was placing the slide into the Foldscope so that I could view it. During this procedure I poked myself in the finger multiple times, but as the French proverb says “there is no rose without a thorn” (even though that may not be true in today’s era of genetic engineering). Lo and behold, the end results were worth every prick to the finger. Looking though Foldscope I saw an entirely new side of this flower that we all are so familiar with.
In my opinion the microcosmic image of the rose is much more beautiful than the roses we see in corner stores. From this day onwards images of normal roses will probably be underwhelming to me as I have now seen the beautiful inside of this organism. The organized structure of the cells, the way the light diffuses through them and the vivid pigmentation all caught my fascination. While roses are quite pretty on the outside the Foldscope reflected a sentiment so often encountered in life: the real beauty lies within (the biological detail of the natural world).