Bean-Shaped Ciliates – help ID?

I have always found a lot of humour in observing the behavior of  macroscopic animals. I can’t say why certain things are funny – the way a cat yawns, or a penguin waddles – but I like the simplicity and concreteness of this humor, the lack of punchline. One unexpected delight of observing the Microcosmos…

Modificación de sistema de iluminación

La identificación taxonómica de artrópodos se basa en características morfológicas que en microscopios de iluminación inferior (como lo es el Foldscope® pueden no ser observables debido a que la luz no logra atravesar objetos grandes y opacos tales como lo son las garrapatas. A fin de subsanar dicho inconveniente, se realizó una modificación a este…

Quail Hollow Ranch County Park pond critters

On July 10th I met up with Christian Schwarz and Tony Iwane at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park in Santa Cruz County, CA to do a dry run of what we might find if we did a public event for the community around the microscopic world of the park. The Park itself has some interesting biology…

Foldscope meets protocols.io

I was delighted to have a chance meeting with Dr. Lenny Teytelman – cofounder of protocols.io. I have been thinking a lot about marriage of two worlds – a free flowing story telling style of posts we encourage every user to write and a structured “methods/protocols” section making everyone experiments repeatable by any other foldscope…

Marigold 🏵

There are many beautiful flowers in Maryland. One of my favorites is the Marigold. I wanted to examine the petal of the flower. At first when I foldscoped the petal it was very hard to see because the cells were yellow. Then I added one drop of methylene blue and I let it soak for…

Hungry hungry Vorticella

This week I spent some time imaging Vorticella ciliates, lazy little couch potatoes (or algae potatoes?) that anchor themselves to something solid and wait for their prey to come swimming by. Because of their stationary lifestyle, they are easy to find in water samples, and gave me a good chance to practice my Foldscoping technique,…

In the Surf

As summer days get hotter in NYC, I’ve been less interested in sitting out in the sun and dropping a net in the water, and much more interested in jumping into the water myself. This raised an interesting question for me. Is there a way to use my plankton net in the surf, since the…

Silid Aralan KIDS Foldscope Club: First Foldscope Club in the Philippines

Following the success of the workshop entitled “Me and My Environment through Foldscope” held last April 2016, KIDS Club and Silid Aralan Inc. (SAI) has finally created the first Foldscope Club in the Philippines! Known as the Silid Aralan KIDS Foldscope Club, it consists of eight learners from SAI’s iLead Program mostly Grade 5 and above…

Ciliates in our backyards – Suctorians 

Amongst enigmatic ciliates you will discover through your Foldscope; Suctorians hold a special place. Strangely looking like stars – in the first look they don’t seem to be doing anything. They just sit; and wait.  But in this patient wait lies a secret.. Capability to capture and eat many other ciliates by a mere touch….

Ciliates in our backyards – Euplotes 

After following notes from @Laks on hay cultures.. Culturing ciliates: The Hay Infusion, Day 8 I decided to create my own hay cultures; and watched them grow. It’s been fascinating to see the cultures grow; and I see new things almost on a daily basis.  I want to quickly share possibly the largest Euplotes I…

The fibers of paper

If you want to get the fibers of paper tear a paper and look at the side you teared

How to Build a Plankton Net

Although one of the best things about our explorations with the Foldscope is that you can pretty much find your subjects anywhere you look, occasionally it is helpful, when looking for specific groups of critters, to build a little bit of extra equipment to help you along the way. One of these that I have…

A thorny issue urging a solution: biological control?

        This is Pennisetum setaceum, a grass  (Poaceae) known as purple fountain grass in many countries abroad. Where I live it is called "rabo de gato", which is to say "cat's tail", something easy to comprehend when seen as follows:        It has been introduced to many parts of the world...

அல்லி மலர்

இது முதின்ஸ் பதிவு. அல்லி மலரின் இதழ். உள் பகுதியில் உள்ள மஞ்சள் நிற இதழ். இலை. அவளுக்கு ஏற்பட்ட கேள்வி இதுதான். இது மற்ற இலைகளிலிருந்து வித்தியாசமாக இருக்கிறது. இலையில் தண்ணீர் செல்லும் பாதை தெரியவில்லை. துளை துளையாக தெரிகிறது. மேலும் தண்ணீரில் உள்ள தாமரை இலையில் தண்ணீர் ஒட்டுவது கிடையாது. ஆனால் அல்லி மலர் இலையில் தண்ணீர் ஒட்டுவது ஏன்? எனக்கு பதில் தெரியவில்லை. பதிலை பகிர்ந்து கொள்ளுங்கள்.

புளி நார்

இது இனியனின் பதிவு. நாங்கள் மதுரையிலிருந்து 14 கிலோ மீட்டர் தூரம் உள்ள மேலக்கால் என்ற கிராமத்திற்கு சென்று விட்டு வந்தோம். ரோட்டோரமாக இருந்த புளிய மரத்திலிருந்து புளி கீழே விழுந்தது. அது இனியனின் மடியில் விழுந்துவிட்டது. உடனே அவனுக்கு தோன்றியது புளியின் நாரை நாம் போல்ட் ஸ்கோப்பில் பார்க்கலாம் என்றான். சரி என்றேன். அவன் பதிவு செய்து விட்டு சொன்னான் தேன் போன்று உள்ளது.

Squirmy the Worm-y

Nature Hunting: Day 2! In our backyard, we found a puddle that had many interesting organisms in it, including an aquatic worm. It was very interesting to observe. Initial observations showed it was short, thin, and very energetic. So, we put it under our foldscopes and saw that there were many parts to the worm….

A Wild (Strawberry) Adventure!

Today, we went for a walk around our neighborhood and saw lots of wild strawberries. We thought that they’d be interesting to check out so we both picked a couple and put them under our Foldscopes. The strawberries are very round and not very transparent, so when we got home we sliced them into two…

Foldscope in the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos is the most Antique University in America, where diverse events in the history of science and technology in Peru have aroused.  “Sanmarquinos”, as they are usually called, have contributed and continue contributing to all aspects of the scientific development in Peru and the world. Medical Sciences represent one…

In the Drought

July has been a month of tremendous change. Apart from the usual shifts that come with a change of seasons, from the floral growth spurt of the spring into the heat and energy grab of the summer, I have also left my old stomping grounds in Brooklyn and moved to Michigan. The shift is a…

முருங்கைபூ

EDEN SCIENCE CLUB உறுப்பினர்கள் இன்று பதிவு செய்த மற்றொன்று முருங்கை பூ. அதன் மகரந்தம். மகரந்தம் கோதுமை போன்றே உள்ளது. பூவின் இதழ்கள் புழுக்கள் போன்று ஒன்றொடு ஒன்று இணைந்து காணப்படுகிறது. அதன் விழிம்புகளில் புழுக்கள் போன்று நீண்டு கொண்டு இருக்கின்றன.  

பாவற்காய் பூ

இது இனியன், நரேஷ், பாரதி, மற்றும் அப்பு ஆகியோர் பதிவு செய்தது. பாவற்கா பூவின் மகரந்தம் கோதுமை போல் உள்ளது. அதன் பூவின் இதழில் நீர் ஓடிய பதை அழகாக பதிவு செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. பூ மஞ்சளாக தெரிந்தாலும் பதிவின் போது வெள்ளைப்பகுதிய அதிகமாகவும் மஞ்சள் பகுதி அடிபகுதியிலும் தெரிந்தது.  

செம்பருத்திப்பூ

முதின்ஸ், பரத்பாபு, விஷால் ஆகியோரின் பதிவு இது. இன்று செம்பருத்தி பூவின் இதழ், மகரந்த தாள், pollen tubeன் மேற்பகுதி ஆகியவற்றை பதிவு செய்துள்ளனர்.  செம்பருத்தியின் மகரந்த தாள் தங்கம் போல் மின்னியது. இதழின் மேற்பகுதி மொட்டு மொட்டாய் வட்ட வடிவில் நெருங்கி அமைந்திருக்கிறது. அனால்  pollen tube ன் மேற்பகுதியில் உள்ளவை செவ்வக வடிவில் இருப்பதை பார்க்க முடிகிறது.  

மணல்

இது இனியனின் பதிவு. இனியன் தற்போது 6ம் வகுப்பு படித்து வருகிறான். இன்றைக்கு EDEN SCIENCE CLUB கூட்டம் நடைபெற்றது. இதில் நீண்ட நாட்கள் FOLDSCOPE பதிவு செய்யவில்லை. மேலும் முழு ஆண்டு விடுமுறையில் திட்டமிட்ட மலர்கள் மற்றும் அதன் மகரந்த தாள்களை பதிவு செய்வது விட்டு போய்விட்டது. அதை முடிக்க வேண்டும் என்று பேசினோம். அதை இன்றே தொடங்குவோம் என்று விஷால் சொல்ல இன்று பதிவானதை பதிவு செய்கிறோம். இனியன் கூட்டத்திற்கு வரும் போதே மணலோடு…

Alveoli

Hello for all of ! the pictures ,the lungs air sacs or (Alveoli) that we could see by  Foldscope . today we have studied in class ,respiratory system .to understand the issue we used from Animal lungs .and non-visible part of the lungs we were able to see by Foldscope .  

Close encounters with an amoebic kind

Over the summer I have decided to work with one or a few micronauts at a time every weekend. This time I thought I’d let them join me in my explorations. Most importantly I want to share that observations aren’t always picture perfect and ideas aren’t always good to start with, but as you keep observing,…

Hello!! (It’s been a while) + Ant video

Oh wow! Our Microcosmos has grown a lot! so many new friends! @Manu, sorry about the long silence from my side, I had my class 12 Board Exams and hence the last 6 months have been hectic. Studying for the Boards and trying to get into a good college.  And now as promised, I’ll be going…

Foldscope at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Diffusion of scientific and discoveries and innovations constitute one of the most important processes for the massification of these for all communities worldwide. It is for this reason that it results very fascinating to generate an integration of knowledge and ideas around objects that could facilitate a better understanding of our environment.

Publicación de prueba-Foldscope Colombia

Esta publicación tiene como función servir de ejemplo sobre el tipo de cosas a compartir con la comunidad de microcosmos. This post was made to show (to spanish speaking kids) some examples of the things to show and to mention when uploading your discoveries. El primer ejemplo es un insecto.  En la imagen de abajo se…

Finding Time to Developing Programming

I run an after school program at Science World for inner city students in Vancouver.  I wanted the Foldscopes for the program since they were portable and could be used by kids of various ages.  By the time the school year rolled around, I could not find time to experiment and test them out.  I…

Creatures of Stow Lake

It’s beautiful to go to Stow Lake, in San Francisco’s golden gate park, in the early morning. The mist is often thick and troupes of ducks idle at the waters edge. This morning I went to Stow lake to collect samples for my foldscope. I am a new foldscope user and hadn’t yet successfully mounted…

Camera Lucida

Inspired by Manu’s post and Jim’s projection microscope.   Aditi and Laks

Playing with White flies (Trialeurodes)

I met with three other DC micronauts  last weekend to explore focus-locking, liquid samples and projection microscopes. Since I had a plant infested with white flies, we decided to investigate the white flies. White flies typically can be found in the lower side of a leaf. Here you can see the heavy infestation. One of the…

Preparing environmental education in Patagonia

Preparing environmental education in Patagonia: AMAZING PAPER MICROSCOPES! We are Yaqu Pacha Chile, an non profit organization (http://www.yaqupachachile.com/). Our projects focuses on the conservation of dolphins and porpoises and the anthropogenic threats to the marine ecosystem in the Chiloé Archipelago in northern Patagonia, Chile. The different research topics of our project are linked closely with our environmental education…

Brine Shrimp in SF Bay

First time using the WordPress app: On my way back from helping a high school in Menlo Park with SDS-PAGE gel imaging I stopped off at Bedwell Bay Front Park to check out some of the salt ponds. The super salty ponds didn’t have any obvious signs of life but I did find a pond…

Gone Fishing

Since I’ve been busy writing and getting ready for a big move, it has been a while since I’ve had the chance to visit the microcosmos, but a couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to head down to New Jersey to visit my parents and spend a few days fishing. Naturally, fishing for…

Colony of Rotifers

My class mates and I found what we think may be a family of rotifers! This was a wet soil sample that we brought in to camp. We are curious,  are these rotifer mating or feeding? Thanks! Torion    

Building a micro-aquarium using the ditch-spacer slide technique

One of my long-term aspirations is to possess a micro-aquarium, where microscopic life is constrained in a small slide volume that I could watch for days and see aspects of the cycles of the various life forms. How cool would that be? Yet, it all only seemed like a fancy… until this May, where at the  National…

Surveying store supplements

Algae based supplements have become relatively common in the American market over the past 10 years and I’ve always been curious to assess 1) Is the organism on the label the same in the container? 2) Is the organism on the label the only organism in the container.  At Wholefoods in Berkeley I purchased the…

Using the Foldscope in a museum setting

I have been working on developing a Foldscope activity to use in science museums and I have been experimenting with different specimens to use in the slides. I have had lots of success with some crazy dust pieces found in my museum as well as a fruit fly, some human hair and a leaf from my…

Exploring the microscopic world at Biomedical Science Department, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Delhi University, India

Had great fun playing around with tissue sections, stains, and observing some amazing results under the Foldscope. A workshop was conducted in the Bhaskaracharya College, DU, and Students of Biomedical Science Department were actively involved in it under the able guidance of Dr. Uma Chaudhry. Students involved were :- Bhawna Sama Akshaya Nambiar Rajat Mann…

Tails of spring – springtails!

At the BioX science day today; we setup a PrakashLab booth where everyone could come and talk to lab members. Although; things started slowly – eventually it picked up pace. During this time; Christine caught a fantastic sample which – from first glance – looked like an ant. It was alive and stuck to tape…

What do ducks feed on? And how?

I was on the Carmel beach and observed a couple of mallards feeding. They were at the edge of the water and would wait for the tide to come in. As soon as the waves would break on the beach, they would peck away, till the next wave. Curious as to what they were feeding…

Eucalyptus leaf

My first Foldscope experiment! This is a eucalyptus leaf from my garden. I’m curious about what the spots are—pores? Are they unique to Eucalyptus?

Ant on a wire (hair) 

I love tools. The right tool for the right job makes all the difference. But sometimes you have to invent tools. And that’s so much fun; since if it does not work well – you can blame yourself and start all over again.  Here I share a simple method to mount small insects (say an…

Identifying ciliates – guide key 

It’s a thrill to find an organism in a natural setting ; and wonder if it’s something science and human society knows about or an undescribed, never before seen species. As a young Foldscope scientists, early on, you should not worry too much about this fact – since you are making discoveries without others telling…

Foldscope Workshop in Masiphumelele

This past Saturday, I had the joy of bringing some Foldscopes to the Masiphumelele branch of Ikamva Youth near Cape Town, South Africa. Ikamva Youth is a non-profit dedicated to providing educational resources for high school students: they provide tutoring for their classes, career and college counseling, health/nutritional classes, and computer literacy training. They support…

Death by foldscope

The fly may have died in the process of foldscoping it. It hadn’t moved in three days. Pretty sure it died pre-foldscope.

What else I found in my flower pot – wriggling insect larvae? 

I found another stranger in the flower pot I had described before. It crawls around on leaves and is quiet large. What I noticed is a “deep red” digestive track and two tracheal tubes running down the center. I was intrigued and decided to Foldscope it.  Now, what I am surprised with is the fact…

White and Black sugar crystals

After some cooking for a birthday coming next week, I wanted to know how does the white sugar look under the Foldscope: 10x Lens: It’s incredible to see the almost perfect geomeric shape of the crystal. With some zoom of the cellphone camera (40x): Then I thought how could be a black sugar crystal and this is…

Bread crumbs under the Foldscope

After I had dinner tonight I was curious about how does the bread I eat every day look under a microscope, so here are the results!    

Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Foldscope Exploration

Hi Everyone, In my first post, I talked a little bit about my microbiology independent research project that I have been working on for several months now. My project’s focus was destroying P. aeruginosa biofilm formations with isolated bacteriophages. My original method (the one talked about in my first post) was to grow different triple culture combinations of P….

Scales on a moth wing

I  found a dead moth in a box. I saw its wings under a foldscope and saw that there were scales on the wings. I noticed that some scales had come off the wing. The color of the scales are light brown and different from the moth’s wings? Why is that? I learnt that moths…

A Tale of Two Ferns

I have been playing with my foldscope for just a few days but have already found so much that is fascinating. As a molecular biology researcher and student, it has been refreshing to shift my attention from designing the perfect, incisive experiment to simply being curious about the miniscule details within the things all around…

Marine water life: rotifers, ciliates, diatoms and bacteria 

I took another drop of water from the sea water table. This almost feels like a game. Every time I pull out a drop of water and peer into the foldscope I observe new tumbling motions, new shapes and colors. I believe these are rotifers (or ciliates). @laks and @manup, can you confirm? I distinctly…

Possible Amoeba

Found this when veiwing one of our student’s samples of pond water. It looks to be an amoeba of sorts. We are in Baton Rouge Louisiana, and last year the city and surrounding areas initiated a chlorine burn of the city water system due to naegleria fowleri “brain eating amoeba”, that was found in drinking…

Unidentified objects in Marine water sample

For the last couple of days, I’ve been doing experiments with picking up droplets of water from different parts of the sea water table (which is full of different Marine organisms) at the Hopkins Marine station. I’ve found the following puzzling things which I would love help in identification. Puzzle 1: The first are these…

Use Foldscope in “Camera lucida” configuration – draw what you see

Foldscope is a stand alone tool; which can be coupled with a cellphone or other cameras to record what you see; but you DO NOT NEED a camera cellphone to actually experience the microscopic world. This is very important philosophical distinction that I have always maintained as an essential design element in a Foldscope. But…

Foldscope at Neuroscience Congress

After I came back from Stanford, the first thing I did was to show the Foldscope to my family and friends. After that, to Universities. Yesterday, I had the first opportunity to show this device to a large group of people. I was invited to a Neurogical Congress in the Province where I live, Mendoza….

Marine ciliate that teleports (jumps) from Hopkins Marine station

Yesterday, scraping from the bottom of the sea water table, I found these mysterious jumping ciliates? I’m calling them ciliates since Manu has found some in the past.. Here’s a first video of 2 of them in sync with gif. It was so beautiful to watch them go. If someone can ID them (@laks, @manup)…

Diatoms of Clear Lake, CA

I recently went to my brothers graduation in Chico and on the way home took a little detour to visit Clear Lake, California, hypothesized to be one of the oldest lakes in North America at 480,000 years old according to USGS. The lake is teaming with life and in the summer gets deep green with…

Need help identifying an organism? iNaturalist may help.

I love finding new critters with my Foldscope. I love even more being able to name the new critters I find as a name allows me to search the internet and learn so much more about the organism. As humans we love to name stuff as it informs our imagination as much as it does…

A gift that keeps on giving – flowers from Mother’s Day 

Here I share an incredible source of microscopic biodiversity; which others in the Foldscope community will find fruitful to explore as well. I am often looking for ponds and lakes to sample single cell Protozoa I can find. I truly enjoy watching these “little machines” and the pleasure of finding new ones is immense.  So…

Significant Biology learning

               As a Biology teacher, I am aware of how essential it is to find new methods and  strategies  in order to motivate students. I firmly believe this is the most important clue to improve educational systems achievements.  Foldscope illustrates this statement by demonstrating  its usage leads to real…

Butterfly Wing Structure – Transparency Edition

In the past I have posted about some of my experiences with the Foldscope in the Amazon rainforest, and more recently about investigating structural color in butterflies in the field (see here and here). I even just realized that others have made posts contributing to a butterfly scale database! For this particular trip to Ecuador,…

Watching individual bacteria swim under a Foldscope

In our lives; all of us have heard of bacteria. It’s a word so commonly tossed around; all the way from “microbiome” news craze where bacteria control many aspects of our lives (and they do) to yogurt to washing our hands and brushing our teeth. We tell little kids – if you don’t wash your…

Peony Leaf Exploration

Hello everyone, It’s been awhile since my last post as I had really been struggling with the Foldscope setup. My main problem was aligning the light hole with the lens, but after hours of frustration and tutorial watching, I have been able to successfully view and take photos of my samples.  I thought it would be best to…

Ribbon worm – day 3 at Hopkins

I identified the ribbon worm as it was swimming on the air-water interface. Based on it swimming and sinking behavior, i am guessing it is negatively buoyant, but it is a mystery to me how it kept itself attached to the air-water interface. Unfortunately, I did not take an image before, but on touching it…

Skeleton Shrimp (Caprella) – day 2 of Hopkins course

Today i managed to put it in a skeleton shrimp in my foldscope. Here’s a video showing blood flowing through the shrimp. It’s incredible. You can see individual hemocytes speeding along. I took a longer video with H, who studies these Caprella as a model organism, and she explained different features to us, including spotting…

Me and My Environment 2: Foldscope in Ikebana

When my husband and I were designing the workshop concept for Manila, one question came to mind. Is it possible to integrate the Foldscope to other disciplines especially the arts? If yes, how can I do it with the our learners? How can I make them see the images of samples from the Foldscope in…

Fertilization of sand dollar eggs (Dendraster Excentricus)

Today is day 1 of the Hopkins marine biology course. We injected 5 molar KCL into the oral cavity of the Sand dollar organism and within minutes, from the non-oral side (opposite), either eggs or sperm were released. There is no way to physically distinguish between male and female sand dollars, but you can identify…

Fungus on a fly

Today while trying to do emails at home with the windows open I had a fly buzzing around and I gave swipe at it which in most cases does nothing but move the fly out of my general space for a few minutes, but today my flailing finger actually made contact with the insect. I…

Using the Foldscope as a Cervical Cancer diagnosis tool

Yesterday we came to Stanford to start working on out on the implementation of the Foldscope as a Cervical Cancer diagnostic tool. Jeel exposed a conference about how to detect Cervical Cancer and we answered questions from the team. He also presented the Eco-Pap. The Eco-Pap allowed the diagnosis of cervical cancer with an environmental performance,…

Polychaete from Lake Merritt

I love Lake Merritt in Oakland and its the reason over 10 years ago that I decided to stay is the decidedly urban environment. It also happens to be ground zero for the study of Marine Invasive species. A high school kid at the time by the name of James Carlton in 1962 was curious…

Protozoan parasitizing a mosquito larva ?

The Sierra Nevada of California right now is blooming. The hills are brushed in the purple, golds and yellows of the California floral palette and beneath the old firs massive bolete mushrooms are pushing up through the duff, nearly asking to find themselves on a dinner plate. Water is abundant and where it has pooled,…

The last time that I visited Pt. Piños, I noticed this area of algae covered rocks and the lush beds of sea grass.  I decided that I wanted to return soon to take a closer look.     May 16th at 1pm was my chance!  The low tide of 0.91 that day was at 1:52pm.  I…

Intertidal Exploration – Point Pinos, Pacific Grove

Hello again! My name is Alyssa and I am currently an Applied Marine Science graduate student at CSU Monterey Bay. For my Marine Ecology class, I have been using my foldscope to take a closer look at marine life across the central coast of California. On one of our recent class field trips, we visited…

Cool Critters in California Rocky Intertidal Habitats

Hello again Foldscope Community! Erika here with some more exciting discoveries from Foldscoping out in the rocky intertidal zone.  This time, our Marine Ecology class consisting of CSU Monterey Bay graduate students went out to explore the rocky intertidal zone at Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, California.  We saw many amazing critters in the rocky…

Sand Color Comparisons

Hello again! For those of you who don’t remember me, my name is Alyssa and I am currently an Applied Marine Science graduate student at CSU Monterey Bay. As a part of my Marine Ecological Systems class, I have been testing out my foldscope on class field trips and weekend adventures. Ever since my first…

Feather Boa to Feathers

Last time I posted about algae and my final microscope image (the edge of Feather Boa kelp) gave me inspiration for my next search…actual feathers! On Friday the 13th…ooo, spooky….I was able to get to my favorite place on Earth, the beach!  I visited Del Monte Beach in Monterey, CA, and as usual, I saw…

Don’t step on this

Small purple sea urchin spine we found in the rocky intertidal at Pt. Pinos beach in Pacific Grove, California. After seeing the grooves and socket on the spine I did a quick literature search to learn more about the formation and structure of sea urchin spines. Sea urchins can move their spines independently of each…

Little swimmer

Pictures of an amphipod I found while I was breaking up scouring pad algae from Pt. Pinos, California, to look at under my foldscope. Amphipods are similar to crabs, both are crustaceans, but they will not grow to be much larger than a few millimeters in length. You can clearly see its two antennae coming…

Spines and Sailors

Hello Foldscopers! The intertidal is always an amazing habitat to visit. And sometimes you stumble upon a something that is even more exciting than the norm.  When my class arrived at Point Piños, we observed lines of purple in the sand (picture below).  Looking closer, I saw they were actually thousands of Velella velella, known as…

Algae of Point Pinos

Getting up close and personal with some intertidal algae at Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, CA! The first photo is turfweed, Endocladia muricata. This is a common red algae  that occurs high in the intertidal and provides refuge for many small animals. The next photo is of sea lettuce, Ulva spp. This is a very delicate, bright green algae…

Hang in there, algae…

Close-ups of algae from the Central Californian intertidal! Even after hanging out in a water bottle for ~1 month in my fridge, some features are still distinguishable, like ancient art work! That’s some hardy biological material. Next time for the fresh stuff… #foldscope

Sea Salt

Can you guess what this is? Hint: it’s leftover from a puddle of seawater. It’s sea salt! We all know the ocean is salty, but in these photos you can actually see the salt crystals that remain after ocean water evaporates. #foldscope

Products from the Sea

You might know that some of the products you use every day contain ingredients that come from the ocean. From calcifying microorganisms to algae, marine ecology plays a role right in our homes. Carrageenen, for example, is a thickening agent that is extracted from red algae. Products that often contain ocean-borne ingredients are sunscreen, makeup, and toothpaste….

A Snail of a Tale

Hello again Foldscope friends! If you are a regular on this blog, you already know that our Marine Ecology class at CSU-Monterey bay is stoked about getting to field test Foldscopes.  On our most recent field trip, we went to Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, CA. The point is dominated by a golf links and…

Amphipod (species?) Discovery in the Intertidal

Hello again Foldscope community!  I wanted to share with you all some awesome pictures I took of an amphipod, which a couple of us graduate students from CSU Monterey Bay found out at the intertidal zone at Carmel Point in Carmel, California.  The images below are (1) a shot of the intertidal zone at Carmel…

Nutrient cycling, and a little winged insect

Exploring the nearby docks never gets old. Of course, when I look though water samples and plankton net tows, I expect to find marine organisms. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was to find a flying insect caught in a plankton net a few weeks back. Now, I’m no entomologist, so I don’t…

An up-close look at the rocky intertidal

Hi again! Carrie here with more foldscope adventuring to post about. As you may have seen in other posts, our graduate marine ecology class here at CSU Monterey Bay recently took a trip to the rocky intertidal habitat at Point Pinos on the Monterey Peninsula. I found some fish eggs attached to a rock, which…

Algae: The Unsung Hero of the Intertidal

Hello Foldscopers! When people visit the intertidal, most think about all the animals they can see: limpets, urchins, hermit crabs…the list goes on and on.  Quietly, in the background, algae is playing an important role for those organisms. They cover rocks in various shapes and sizes; providing nutrients, habitat, and even protection from the sun.  This…

My housemate’s Pancake just shed…

In past housing situations I’ve been lucky to enjoy play-only relationships with dogs whose physical and health needs were otherwise met by their responsibility-laden owners. Having recently moved into a new shared rental, I’m experiencing a unique treat in that one of my housemates is a true-story Chameleon owner. Pancake is a stunning-in-teal Panther Chameleon,…

Algae Adventures at Carmel Point!

Hello Foldscope Community!  My name is Erika Senyk and I am a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science Program at California State University Monterey Bay.  Our graduate-level Marine Ecology class was given the unique opportunity to test out some Foldscopes and see what we could find (Thank you Dr. Hata!!).  Over my…

‘Scoping some surfgrass

Not too long ago, my classmates and I had the opportunity to participate in a rocky intertidal monitoring project with LiMPETS at Carmel Point, CA. LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) is an environmental monitoring and education program seeking to increase stewardship of and monitor California’s coastal communities. A core component of LiMPETS is…

Pine pollen

Pine pollen Hello for all of ! today we could see pine pollen by foldscope . this image is pine pollen ,which today we have Mede in the university of the slide prepared .and we are very happy that for the first time we have seen that the pollen by folscope .and these images all…

Foldscope Mod: Standing on the shoulders of giants

Today I wanted to see if I could make my folscope a little more smartphone friendly. While the folded housing of the scope is fantastic for fixed slides and direct hand-to-human-eye microscopy, I’ve had some difficulty when it comes to taking pictures with the camera on my phone. The issues are: Too many moving parts!…

Don’t throw away old samples..

Hey there Microcosmos community! Today I decided to give my folscope another go; this time with some marine samples I collected – well, how long ago was that now? Oh I guess about three weeks! Grad school has been keeping me busy this semester, and my invertebrate sample jar from a field day in the…

Copepod Life Cycle- Beginning and End

The docks near my house are a lovely place to explore marine life of all sizes. Sea lion and Brandt's cormorants were hanging out on the wharf as I towed a plankton net off the boat dock. I was curious to see what microscopic life I could find floating in the water right off the...

Fun with Fungi 2

Last night I went on a night hike with Calnature.org at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, California  and armed with UV lights and dark forest we looked for all things that glow or at least are UV fluorescent. We found tons of two glowing arthropods; the Western Forest Scorpion (Uroctonus mordax) and the millipede Xystocheir…

Exploring the tiny life in the Monterey harbor

Last week my roommate and I headed to the harbor here in Monterey, CA. We were on a mission to find some plankton, and we succeeded! It was my first time using the foldscope on live animals so there was some troubleshooting involved (mainly, figuring out how to avoid crushing the animals on the slide)….

Greetings!

Greetings! My name is James Pelletier, and I am super excited to be a new explorer of the microcosmos through a Foldscope! I feel inspired by the beautiful images and questions on the Microcosmos site. I am thrilled to join the Foldscope community and learn from you. This summer, we will introduce Foldscopes to the Microbial Life class at the Children’s School of…

Try not to be crabby, dissections can be quite interesting

I found this crab floating in some kelp along the docks near where I live. These crabs are common predators at docks, as well as the rocky intertidal. Like any good biologists, I love me some dissections, and after seeing these guys scuttle around so often, it was a treat to get a closer look...

Scouring pad alga

Branch of a scouring pad alga (Endocladia muricata) from Carmel Point, California, under my  foldscope. This is a red tuft algae  that is commonly found in the mid to high intertidal, is fairly soft to the touch, and has many branching offshoots.  Seen in the image are small spines along these small branches. While the…

Hydrozoa & friends at Point Pinos, CA

Hey Foldscopers!  Back with some more microscopic adventures from our Marine Ecology graduate class at Cal State University Monterey Bay.  Because we just can’t stay away from the intertidal zone in this area, we visited Point Pinos in Pacific Grove.  It is the northern end of the Monterey Peninsula and features a large swath of prime intertidal habitat!…

Fish Eggs (???) at Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, CA

Today I visited the intertidal with my marine ecological systems class. We went to Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, CA. One of my classmates spotted a bunch of these attached to a rock…definitely eggs of some sort, very pink in color. We thought at first that they were fish eggs but upon taking a closer…

Mars or Meconium

Sometimes, it’s the perspective that matters. Here are a few images I have been taking using my Foldscope of an object that I have to deal a lot with. More on that object/stuff later – but without a scale bar; this might as well be the surface of Mars. Or a newly discovered planet, I…

Amphipod (up close and personal)

Hello again! I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with the LiMPETS program, which monitors sandy shore and rocky intertidal ecosystems.  As part of our Marine Ecology class at CSU-Monterey Bay, we participated in rocky intertidal monitoring at Carmel Point.  The idea is to monitor invertebrates and algae over long periods of time to see…

Star type Organism

We found this in a sample of pond water.  Our students tried to look it up to no avail.  We believe it could be some type of hydrazoa.  If anyone can help identify, we would appreciate it.  

White fly

  First view after assembling Foldscope.  

Image Composites – starfish

Some critters I want to look at are just bigger than the lower magnification lens can handle, so taking a tip from Tom Hata’s post https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=10552 I decided to try my hand at stitching together a series of images in GIMP that were taken with the Foldscope. I went after a 3 mm brittle star…

Fun with Fungi

In North America fungi are a mess, taxanomically speaking. Many fungi that look similar to ones found in Europe inherited the same scientific names and this is partly because beyond the fruiting body (mushroom), fungi are pretty hard to get a good look at. A fair number of attributes that are used to discriminate between…

Me and My Environment through Foldscope

It was a blessing in disguise Dr. Christian Budich found an article about Foldscope while he was doing his usual literature research in his office. On that same day, he sent me the link to see if this is possible to do in Manila, Philippines. Back in Manila together with some friends, we created a…

Won Grand Prize at Louisiana STEM Expo

Our students talked about the various discoveries while exploring at school and home and were able to show documentation through pictures, video and field notes.  Many of the judges were very impressed and and expressed that this was the first project of its type they have seen.  Although we started our exploration in hopes we…

Mosquito larva ?

I just assembled my Foldscope two nights ago and because of work hadn’t had a chance to go in the field and find something, so I decided to look at what might be growing in a bath water recycling system I have on my porch. I was expecting to find the usual suspects that I…

Peltate trichomes

I was in Delaware in March for a family reunion. Spring having emerged from winter the week before, there was much floral and insect activity.  All the usual suspects started blooming. I went into a thicket down my cousin’s backyard and found this plants with interesting leaves with brown spots all over underneath. At first…

Pick a Pycnogonid

Elkhorn Slough is a really special place.  Our Marine Ecology class (CSU-Monterey Bay) went exploring in the slough and found some amazing critters! About five miles upstream from the ocean, a railroad track cuts through the slough, trapping a section of the mudflat behind it.  Two bridges allow the area to fill with water during high tide, and empty…

A Tale of Two Freshwater Planted Tanks

Hello again, Nicole here, but this time I will be sharing a couple of freshwater specimens. There is great diversity between the different species both at a macroscopic and anatomical level and a microscopic level. My husband Nilo and I have a couple of  planted tanks so I decided to look at some of the plants...

Intertidal Marine Worm (Nereis spp.)

Hello to ALL fellow foldscopers! My name is Nicole and I am a graduate student studying Marine Science at California State University, Monterey Bay. I have been looking at many interesting plants and various critters over the last few weeks in an attempt to refine my foldscope techniques and am ready to share my first...

Tinkering around with a DIY LED mount

Hi Foldscope Community! I’m Carrie, another graduate student in the California State University, Monterey Bay class that was lucky enough to receive Foldscopes this semester! When we were first constructing our scopes, we didn’t have enough LED switches and mounts to go around – not a problem! Our professor, Dr. Kerry Nickols, handed out some…

Ring Around the Nematode!

Hey guys! As part of my work at the NOAA lab and my masters program at CSU-Monterey Bay, I am looking at  petrale sole, a right eyed flatfish that is common along the west coast of the United States from Baja California to the Bering Sea. My research involves trying to determine this fish’s fecundity,…

Feeling Rosy!

Hey again! Cherisa here with my next foldscope discovery. As you may recall , I found an amphipod a few weeks back in some seaweed from an intertidal field trip we had taken for graduate school. When I am not busy in classes down at CSU-Monterey Bay, I am busy in Santa Cruz at the National…

First Foldscope Feat!

Hello there! My name is Alyssa and I am currently a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science (AMWS) program at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). At the beginning of this semester, each student in my marine ecology class was issued a foldscope to use throughout the remainder of the school year….

Intertidal Exploration

  Hello fellow scientists! My name is Larissa Lemon. I am a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science Program at California State University Monterey Bay.  Every person in our Marine Ecosystems class was given a Foldscope  to use throughout the semester. We recently took a trip to the rocky intertidal at Carmel…

Epiphytic microorganisms on duckweed roots.

        I have been keeping a sample of common duckweed which I obtained from a freshwater fountain you can see in the next image. Whenever my duties allow me, I run and grab  my foldscope and inmensely enjoy watching the microcosmos under it. Refering to this plant (it is frequently mistaken as…

Plankton at Gantry State Park

After a long cold snap at the end of the winter, and a pretty rainy spring, this week has finally brought in some sunny and warm days. I happen to be on spring break this week from one of the institutions I call home, so I took the time off to go fishing.  It’s not…

Toothpaste and diatoms

Diatoms are used in many manufactured products that we use every day.  One of these products is toothpaste.  With a smear of toothpaste on a slide, you may be able to see diatoms with your Foldscope.  Take a look at this website (http://www.truevisionmicroscopes.com/everyday-objects-under-a-microscope-examining-toothpastes-and-white-chalk.html) to see that you should be able to see diatoms in your…

Growing diatoms

Do you have a freshwater fish tank? Do you notice brown scum coating the glass or other items in the tank? You probably have diatoms growing in your tank! Diatoms exude a polysaccharide gelatinous-like coating in which they reside and can form long end-to-end chains. This chain is what looks like brown slime in the…

Interesting journey with Foldscope

I am graduate student from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. I was interested to see foldscope for quite sometime and invitation form Dr. Manu Prakash to attend foldscope event came as a surprise to me. Event organisation was amazing and involved school and college students. Everyone in the hall was excited to have hands on…

Creature in Slimy Water

The gutters of a house near Vancouver B.C. , which have not been cleaned out for several months, are filled with slimy, rotting leaves and lots of little creatures, like this lively one.

Into the Depths of Lint

Lint- The generally grey stuff that is left over after drying your clothes.  A few people compost it. Some others use it to start a fire, since it is highly flammable. To most people however, lint is just something you clean of the lint trap in your dryer and toss into a near by bin.  Looking…

A Seaweed Surprise!

Hi everyone! My name is Cherisa and I am a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science program at California State University Monterey Bay! Each student in my program was lucky enough to receive a foldscope to take with us out into the field to view some pretty neat things up close and…

Live Mealworms eating plastic

This is probably the most bizarre and coolest organism I’ve ever seen under a foldscope. It’s a mealworm that eats Styrofoam (and other plastic) and degrades into biodegradable waste. I’d read about these worms on the Stanford website, so when the researchers (Wei-min, Craig , Anja and Shandhan) who discovered them invited us to take…

Leaf of a green petal

<img src="https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_20160329_123421041-169×300.jpg" alt="IMG_20160329_123421041" width="169" height="300" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-15137" /

Geranium Leaf

These are pictures of a flower leaf (Geranium Flower) widely found in Afghanistan. These pictures show open and close stomata of the geranium flower leaf.  We are happy that we have such a wonderful tool to zoom into the microcosmos.  

Little Surprises

<img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-15075" src="https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_53261-300×225.jpg" alt=”Wheat-like plant” width=”300″ height=”225″ /> Hello Foldscope community! Found this wheat-like plant outside lab with the most interesting bristly, rough texture – wanted to image to see what kind of natural material contributed to the roughness, but instead ended up seeing purple coloration instead! Completely missed this by the naked…

Foldscope mystery animal Puzzle#1

I have started making a lot of connections between life history of different animals. Most insect transform to such an incredible degree between life stages; that it’s almost impossible to bin them as the same species until you see one – transform into another.  With light of this above note  I am starting a little…

Exploring the microscopic at Carmel Point, CA

Hi Foldscope community! We are back for a second Foldscope post with some microvideography from the land of infinite wonder – the marine intertidal. On a class trip to collect abundance data for California’s LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) at Carmel Point, Carmel, CA, I collected some 50-milliliter water samples from…

Candytuft Iberis🌺

For the 13 years that I have lived, I have never seen a flower so magnificent and eye  catching. I probably have seen this flower before but have not paid attention to it until a few days ago when I had this flaming motivation to figure out everything I could about this flower. Thanks to…