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…

Comparison of Human Hair

My roommate and I have pretty different types of hair: mine is long and straight while hers is short and curly. I was interested in seeing what they looked like up close and if we would be able to see any huge differences using the foldscope. I mounted my hair on one end of the…

Particles in Yogi Lemon Ginger tea water

My sample was taken from the leftover water and dregs from a cup of Yogi Lemon Ginger tea that I had been drinking. To collect the sample, I poured some of the water on the slide and placed a cover slip over it. When looking into the foldscope, I was interested to see the variety…

Flower Petal Cells

I was sitting in the courtyard of my dorm doing homework and I noticed some of the first flower blossoms of the year. I picked one of the flowers off the tree in the afternoon of February 9, 2018 and immediately took it to my foldscope. I prepared the slide by cutting a small piece…

Very Curly Human Hair!

For my very first Foldscope posting, I decided to examine a piece of my very curly hair! So much of it comes out on my brush (yikes) that I thought I’d take a strand and see what it really looks like up close. I initially had trouble seeing it in the Foldscope, but with some…

Two Types of Salt Crystals

Students who are first learning how to use a microscope as part of an introductory science class often view salt or sugar crystals with the instrument–it’s a great and harmless way to introduce them to the microscopic world. Unfortunately, despite having worked with microscopes before I had yet to view salt crystals under one with…

Fluffy Seed Pod Bio60_2018

Hello fellow explorers of the microcosmos! Today, I observed the fluff of this seed pod under the foldscope. I was struck by the beauty of the iridescent microscopic structure. It almost looks like a miniature forest or thicket of brush. The seed pod pictured in these images had been collected and dried some weeks in…

Flower Petal

I created a slide with a pink flower petal that was growing outside and used Foldscope to view it in closer detail. This picture was taken using a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. I was fascinated by how easy it was to use Foldscope and more importantly, how similar it was to using the large standard…

Examining Fabric

I wanted to view a man-made object with the Foldscope, so I cut out a piece of a dyed sock made of woven fabric and mounted it on a slide. I used my iPhone SE to photograph the sample. I was fascinated by how clear the individual threads appeared under a microscope since they look…