Watching individual bacteria in a 300 year old pond

Sometimes; wonder awaits you in seemingly quiet places. Walking up to a 300 year old pond that is fed by a stream under water is one such quiet place. But a lot is happening in this ecosystem that’s right below the surface. A quick drop of water fro here into my foldscope – and you…

Diversity that boggles our minds – polychaete worms

Photo: “A variety of marine worms”: plate from Das Meer by M.J. Schleiden (1804–1881). In 15 minutes of looking at the same rock I collected on the beach, I found more than 12 different species of polychaete worms. Some of them were swimmers; wriggling in the water column. Some of them had fans, others appendages…

Bryozoa saga continued – part 2

If you saw my previous post; I am stuck looking at billions of sargassum leaves on a beach – and Bryozoa covering almost all of them. See here. So I started poking in the water in hope of catching some fresh macroalgae to show up.. and after some adventures – did get some on my…

A floating partnership – Bryozoa – Akumal, México

As humans, we all value a piece of land to call home. It’s not so different sometimes in the ocean. Many invertebrates would colonize just about any surface you can find in the open waters. And Bryozoa are masters of colonizing just about anything.. even if it’s a floating algae. I am on a peninsula…

Life in a drop o water; secret handshakes

I love the secret handshakes every organism in this video has for one another. They all react when interacting to other organisms – but quiet differently. In the past we have discussed on toxins presented on the surface; but I had not appreciated the diversity of “reactions” a single felled organism would have when seeing…

Friends of Kayany – Foldscope in Syrian refugee camps

Young women at Kayany Foundation's United Nations Women for Peace School in Bar Elias, Lebanon were excited to receive their new Foldscopes last week. We are thrilled and honored to work with “Friends of Kayany” to bring tools of curiosity for educating Syria's most vulnerable kids. If you would like, you can donate directly to…

Watching swimming bacteria in our spit

After a lovely Christmas dinner, my 6-year old nephew (H) and I settle down with a foldscope. And off course we decide to look at spit; in search of bacteria. This is video with the regular basic foldscope without light module. We use just the hanging light in the room as our light source. Enjoy!!…

Tutorial: Surface imaging using Foldscope – ice formation

I want to start the year with new year spirit. Ice crystals. It’s -26C here; yes – you read it right. Most people are enjoying the fact that it’s colder in Montreal than Antarctica. Something we should be worried about; but that’s for another day. Basic foldscope can be used for surface imaging on translucent…

Mites that spin silk; a tutorial for using micro-well slides

Here is a quick example of how to use micro-well glass slides in your kits to trap and keep alive organisms. Spider mites hiding on my #croton plant. They are really small; smaller than a dot in a sentence. Count the legs – and you know they are arachnids. But I did not know that…

Live imaging of plant root tips

Imaging live root tips growing under a foldscope. It’s freezing outside (-25 C) but I have some plants growing inside the home. I found a few root tips and mounted in a slide. Take a look; here is an attached video. Imaging live root tips with plants growing under a #foldscope. Although I am in…

New Foldscope tutorial – making wet mount slides and oblique illumination

Here is a 12min tutorial on basics of latest foldscope usage. Once you have assembled the foldscope correctly (see: https://www.foldscope.com/foldscope-instructions/), you can begin to make slides, explore and enjoy the microscopic world. Lots of latest tricks and tips hidden in this latest video: As you can see; so much can be done with the basic…

Foldscoping on a sailboat – adventures in Yvinec

Thrilled to have a chance to #Foldscope with adventurer Guirec Soudée on Yvinec (boat). Momo (chicken) was not on the boat that day; since some repairs were planned – but we all got to share our love for science and the ocean. In the new year, let’s promise to protect this incredible ecosystem we call…

Glowing hemolymph in an insect

I made a really puzzling observation today. I found a very small flying insect (~1mm) at a friends house. I could not identify if it was a really small fly, wasp or something else. Intrigued; I ended up putting it inside a foldscope. As luck would have it; I squashed the big and a whole…

When a copepod smiles back at you..

A few friends and I have been going back and forth to San Francisco Bay; in the hope of starting larger scale sampling of the bay right here. After a few disappointing starts where we seemed to just get sand and silt (churned by the large ships bringing things into the port); we are now…

Tiny bug with a giant ovipositor

I am in Delhi for Diwali, and walking around just trying to observe this city I used to call home many years ago. If you have not been here lately; this is what outside my house looked like on an average day. And in this hustle and bustle (and honking); we forget to notice the…

Micro Fairy at UCMerced ponds

I had fantastic day working with students , undergrads, local high school students – teaching and testing foldscope. We had around 60 participants with lots of high school students from local areas. I am personally inspired to meet the students; and really excited to see what they share and post with the community. Happy to…

Bee sting in the hand

In Copenhagen, I got a chance to go to dinner at Dr Dino Ott’s – a physicist trained at Niels Bohr Institute, an old visiting student and a dear friend. His wife Ana and son joined dinner. Dino visited the lab several years ago when we were building/designing foldscope; and engaged in many parts of…

Foldscoping in Copenhagen – part 2

I am spending two days in Copenhagen – and it’s such a wonderful feeling to see nature integrated in the city. I don’t have to go too far to find natural ecosystems that are not perturbed. Right outside the house; I found a little pond; and here is a Facebook live video of the activity….

BMC Municipal Urdu school Foldscope workshop, Mumbai.

I had been in Mumbai for a few days and was eager to get started with a series of Foldscope workshops we (DBT, Foldscope Instruments, IITB, Ruia college – amongst others) had been planning in Mumbai. Municipal (BMC) schools are spread across the city, and we choose a majority Urdu speaking school with kids ranging…

Foldscoping in Copenhagen ponds

My experience biking and Foldscoping around Copenhagen – watch the video till the end for big surprises. Please tag all the organisms you see here.. Cheers Manu

Wonderful moment in Foldscope teachers workshop at IITB

Jim and I, along with DBT staff scientists, IITB, Ruia college and Dharavi Diary volunteers have been running workshops for teachers and IITB students. In continuation, today we a ran workshop at IITB campus with the focus of sharing experience of teachers. We started with a wonderful series of introductions and journeys that many teachers…

“Muskaan” (smile) of incredible kids in Dharavi basti (Mumbai)

We run and document Foldscope workshops around the world. It’s our work and our passion. And in this process, we meet incredibly kids that amaze us, remind us of why we love science so much and allow us to see a reflection of our future to come. Some members of Foldscope Team (Jim Cybulski and…

Tide pooling at Bandra rocks; Mumbai – a fine early morning

I am in Mumbai for next couple of days to run foldscope workshops. I will write a longer post about the agenda and the plan; but want to share a wonderful Mumbai experience with everyone. It’s all recorded in few minute Facebook Live videos (I am testing that platform to document Foldscoping in the field)…..

Foldscope in the field

We have put a lot of effort in the redesign of the new foldscope kit; to be ultra portable and still provide a large number of tools (20ish) with the microscope – available and ready for you to use. Some time ago, we thought of a pencil box for microscope (since we compare foldscope to…

Mystery of floating jelly balls

I am at Woods Hole this week; and just amazed with the biodiversity in the coastal environments around here. I took a stroll around Wood neck beach, with my 6 year old nephew who just got his first plankton tow. The ocean is connected with a little stream and a current passes back and forth….

Foldscoping from a boat – hello from NZ

I just started a collaboration with Plankton Planet; bringing microscopy on sail boats around the world. An incredible world of plankton – in every drop of the ocean. I will write more about this new work soon; but here is a few snapshots of what it felt like.  To get access to the plankton, you…