YES! Conference

At Laney College this morning students gathered to learn new tools and processes. Some of them got to construct Foldscopes and explore the world around them at microscale.

Microfluidics: a primer

This post is going up a little before I’d like, in that I’ve made a few steps towards a tool for the Foldscope, but the tool isn’t easy to use or refined yet.  A teacher I work with outside of Denver, Colorado that does an amazing job of letting students really taste whats its like…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…