Flowers through the Looking Glass

After the amazing results I obtained from my first foldscoping experience, I wanted to extend my idea and look at different flowers. I though to myself: “How will the structure from the rose I initially observed differ from other flowers and what other observations can I make about the microscopic image of flower interiors ?”…

No Rose Without a Thorn

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…

Silt from the Palo Alto Baylands

One of my wonderful teachers had trekked out into the Palo Alto Baylands and collected a silt sample for us to examine in class. After straining the silica out of the sample and preparing a slide, I inserted the slide, attached the light to the backside and used a coupler to center my phone over…

Bacteria Sample

In our age of technology, the use of smart phones has skyrocketed, but at what cost. We set our phones down anywhere and touch them constantly no matter what we had touched before. To see how dirty our phones really are, I swabbed the face of my iPhone and cultured the sample on agar. After…

Skin Sample

This sample of skin was a small hangnail on the side of one of my fingers. I took it off with tweezers and placed it on the slide where I dripped water over it so it would be more easy to see.  The light from the foldscope kit was too dim, so I had to…

Tarragon Spice (Bio60_2018)

Adding to my collection of spices, I decided to write a post about Tarragon which is a rather unnoticed, unknown, but distinct spice. My last post focused on using a dry mount for a dried product, however,  tarragon was flat enough to be used with a wet mount to produce rather satisfying results.   Since…

Curdled Milk (Bio60_2018)

I stumbled across this picture somewhat by accident. Four days ago, I collected a sample from my glass of milk at breakfast, intending to examine it that same day. Much to my dismay, looking at it through my Foldscope, I saw nothing at all! In hindsight, I should have expected this – the milk was…

Black Beetle

Shown below is a black beetle obtained from a sample of dirt in class. The sample was prepared by capturing the beetle with tweezers, killing it, dissecting it, and crushing it onto a slide. When taking a closer look at this creepy crawler, we only reveal that it is more disgusting under a microscope. The…

Petal of a red flower

I always appreciate anything from nature that consists of bright colors so I decided to take a look at the petal of a red flower under my foldscope. It was interesting to see an array of colors under the lens rather that just the expected red. 

Insect Legs

This is an image of the legs from a bug – possibly a termite – that was found in a sample of rotting wood. To prepare the slide,  I crushed the insect and placed it onto a slide. I then added a drop of water and placed a cover slip on top. I found this…

Broccoli – BIO60_2018

In the recent Foldscope session during my Bio60 class, one of the objects I decided to look at was pieces of broccoli. I broke off a few pieces from the head of the broccoli and made a slide to observe using my Foldscope. I was curious as to what broccoli would look like under the…

EmergenC Powder

For my second Foldscope post, I decided to examine Vitamin C powder! This powder has come in handy for me numerous times, so I thought I’d get a closer look at what it’s actually made of. The sample was procured from a package of EmergenC powder at Target. As expected, I noticed numerous small dots,…

Warm-Colored Flowers!

This week, as I was biking around campus, I noticed that flowers of many colors were starting to bloom! I was intrigued as to whether certain pigments would appear better in the foldscope and which types of petals had the most complexity.  Unfortunately I had some difficulty viewing some of the other flowers I had collected…

Gaining a Deeper Insight into Human Hair

While I am very appreciative of all of the genes that my mother and father passed down to me, I am especially appreciative of their characteristics for thick and no-maintenance-required hair. I decided to observe a sample of my own hair with my Foldscope. Under the Foldscope, I saw that my hair is very straight…

Allium sativum: Delicious and Pungent

Every other week, our dorm kitchen manager chastises us on the stinky state of our kitchenette.  As someone with little culinary expertise, I rely solely on the efforts of the dining hall chefs for nourishment and nutrition, and have never stepped into the mysterious enigma that is our kitchenette. One day, driven by curiosity (and…

Exploring an Important Player of Angiosperm Pollination

Stumbling into my dorm at midnight after a long day of classes and meetings, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a new bouquet of flowers on the table. Noticing that the bouquet of flowers included some pink lilies, I decided to take a sample of pollen and observe it under my Foldscope. Using…

Small Leaf

This time I looked at a small leaf off of a tree. I chose this leaf because it was very thin, so I knew I would be able to see it well using the foldscope. I was more successful in getting this picture than my last picture by taping the magnetic coupler to my phone…

Caught in a Spider’s Web Bio60_2018

Hi guys! Today, I made a cool discovery. I was walking outside and found this spider’s web, covered in flies. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to collect a sample to examine under my Foldscope . Methods: I took a sample of the web by collecting it on my fingers before transporting it…

Man-made vs. Natural: fabric and flower petal Bio60_2018

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to compare man-made materials and natural materials under my Foldscope. My hypothesis was that man-made materials would tend to be regular and homogenous because regular, even patterns in fabrics, for example, are often a design goal. I further hypothesized that natural materials, however, would have more organic forms and might…

Spicy Red Pepp (Bio60_2018)

When thinking about microscopy and the world, many often associate microscopy with science and studying living organisms. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, plants; these are all subjects that many would associate with the use of microscopes. This post is on a rather spicy topic (pun-intended) and focuses on the structure of the well-known and beloved crushed red…

Some (my) saliva

Here is a drawing of my saliva, viewed through my foldscope, after brushing my teeth. After vigorously cleaning my lens, and focusing it, I noticed that the sample showed these really interesting fractal patterns.

Flower Petal

Shown below is a picture of a typical flower petal that can be commonly found. By the naked eye, the petal appears to be a solid pink; however, when we take a closer look through a microscope, we find much more. Instead of being a solid color, we observe a kaleidoscope-like pattern consisting of intricate…

Cell colony

This is the view of a hand bacteria colony under my Foldscope.

Banana Peel Scraping (Bio60_2018)

It’s a food that many of us eat every morning, yet most of us probably have not thought about what lies within that characteristic yellow peel at a microscopic level. I collected this specimen by scraping off the inside of a banana peel that was sitting in the top of the trash can in my…

Dried blood and exudate – “scab”

Being a hockey player we often get turf burn and wounds across our elbow and knees. I decided to pick at a small scab on by elbow (gross, I know!) and examine it under my Foldscope on the 10th of February, 2018.  Bio60_2018

Exploring Nature on a Lazy Saturday Afternoon

On Saturday, Stanford University was blessed with another beautiful day of sunshine, blue skies, and enviable 70 degree weather. Naturally, like any college student with essays to write and problem sets to solve, I decided to sprawl outside in the grass and forego my aforementioned responsibilities. While basking under the sun, I noticed these tiny…

The Face of a Spider

Curious about insects under the microscope, I captured a small house spider (light brown in coloration) and placed it on a glass slide with a drop of water. To prevent crushing it, I placed three layers of double sided tape around the specimen before laying down the glass cover. Under the slide, I eventually followed…

Penicillium camemberti: The Rind of Brie

As a cheese lover, I’ve always wondered what comprises the white rind of brie. I used my tweezers to gently remove a spot of the airy white substance and placed it on a simple glass slide (no water). Under inspection, one can see the thin filaments of Penicillium camemberti, a fungus cheesemakers mix with camembert, brie,…

Cephalocereus senilis – the Old Man Cactus

This sample was taken type of cactus called the Old Man Opuntia Cactus, which is a furry, slender cactus. Its name comes from the fact that the shaggy coat of long white hairs on the cactus resembles that of an old man.  I collected the sample at the Arizona Garden on campus, which has a…