Video: Middle School Tech Review

Real tools lead to real work at Opportunity Middle School in Concord, NC. Using microscopes, foldscopes, and laser lens hacked cheap fire tablets, our students are opening up their world, all on their own. With only a couple of takes after stumbling over the term “microscope,” these 7th and 8th graders free-styled this video to…

The secret about lice

On December the 6th I got lice on my head. I was curious to see what it was. So me and my Dad took two lice that I had on my head and put it under the Foldscope. I learned lots of new things about lice. I learned that lice are insects because they have…

A Sweet Perspective– By: Keerthi Padmanabhan

Today I saw a grain of sugar under the foldscope. In the pictures I took, it was very hard to focus, so the images look a little blurry. I  saw that the sugar grains  I looked at were rectangular in shape and saw that many of the grains were stuck together. Here is how they…

Microcosms of marine plastic debris

Hello Foldscope Community, I am Mandy Barker a photographer from the UK who has been photographing marine plastic debris recovered from the world’s oceans for many years. The motivation for my work is to raise awareness about the vast amount of plastic entering our oceans, affecting ecosystems, biodiversity, marine life and ultimately ourselves. Using the Foldscope I…

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…

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….

What is in Mr. Potato?

The Potato that we eat today originated  in the Andes of South America. We consume a storage organ of the plant called the tuber, which is a modified underground stem. All modern potatoes came from a single potato somewhere in modern Peru. I find this quite amazing. Up until about the late 1500s, the Potato…

The Relational Imagery of Graphite & Graphene

The attributes of graphene and its electric and thermal conductivity have always fascinated me. Graphene simply put, is a single one atom thick layer of graphite. And graphite is what is used to make pencil lead. Essentially graphite is made up of hundreds of thousands of layers of graphene. What differentiates the structural make up of…

A student Lead Investigation

Leading an investigation. using foldscopes to evaluate the quality of homemade plastics. After leading the lab she created to create plastic from hair, the student had her classmates evaluate the quality of the plastic they produced with the foldscopes. 

Calcium oxalate

I was looking at the outer skin of the onion also called tunic. I saw white rectangular shapes on it. I found out its called calcium oxalate crystals,  a colorless crystalline salt. I found many on the tunic of the onion.😀 I hope you enjoy my first time posting. -vaishnavi (13 years)

Silver Crystals Using Tollens’ Test Reagents

Have you ever seen the Silver Mirror trick at a chemistry show?  That’s when silver is precipitated out of solution onto a glass surface.  The demo consists of a series of clear solutions being combined in a glass flask.  As the presenter swirls the flask, a shiny mirror forms on the inner surface of the…

March of the crystals

Inspired by the series of posts from the “frozen project” by a 6-year old and mom; I brought out my Vitamin C crystal bottle again. See Frozen project series here: http://microcosmos.foldscope.com/2015/05/20/the-frozen-project-the-conclusion/ @Laks and I have previously posted extensively on Vitamin C crystallization and also it’s biological implications [see post here] Now it was time for…

A close of up coiled-texture hair- uabbiotech_PVD

  Many people are intrigued by just how different the hair of African and African descendants is. There are numerous misconceptions about African-textured hair, chief among them that “black hair doesn’t grow.” This misconception stems from the biology of the hair structure itself, which is different from the structures commonly seen among other ethnic groups. This hair…

Thiomargarita namibensis (Giant sulfur bacteria)

This is Thiomargarita namibiensis – the largest of all known bacteria. Individual cells can reach nearly 1mm in diameter. These bacteria are lithotrophs that gain energy from the oxidation of sulfide using oxygen or nitrate as an electron acceptor. The bright spots are elemental sulfur that is stored inside the cell. These samples were collected…

What makes bruised apple flesh brown? (BioE80 Spr2015)

I had an apple in my backpack that got badly bruised, with a dark, mushy spot on its side. Bruises happen when you accidentally dent the fruit, but I found myself wondering about biochemical explanations for the browning. What’s happening inside the apple to darken the flesh? I used my Foldscope to investigate. I first…

Trichomes and pollen

Manu informed me through this aricle that May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.  If you are the fortunate few who dont suffer pollen allergies, then May should be a very happy Foldscope month in the north east US. I have never enjoyed studying pollen as much as I did this year and continue…

Effect of Electrolysis on Rust

Students in the CTE Autobody Careers performed electrolytic rust removal on old parts.  These are images of the rust and residue collected before and after the treatment.

Foldscope Plan

The Foldscopes arrived a month ago and I shared them with a few fellow medical laboratory scientist. The plan was to see if we could put it together. It took about a half hour to assemble. We were happy to get in on this project and eager to get started. We were able to use…

Watching Vitamin C crystal grow – Inspired by Frozen

Updated (see note below)  By Manu and Laksiyer  This post will be written as a conversation between two people far away. Just like the originators of the Frozen project 🙂  Manu: Laks, did you know we have incredible group of contributors that started a series of “frozen” projects to explore crystal growth using Foldscope. I…

Reaction of vinegar and baking soda [video]

Low mag Some baking soda was placed on a glass slide and covered with a cover glass, then a dropper was used to place some vinegar on the slide. The vinegar was sucked under the cover glass by capillary action and reacted with the backing soda.

Egg Yolk

This is a bit of egg yolk from a fried egg I had for breakfast.  

Toothpaste – hydrated silica

This is toothpaste – (Sensodyne ProNamel) It contains water, sorbitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, PEG-8, cocamidopropyl betaine, flavor, titanium dioxide, xantham gum, sodium saccharin, sodium hydroxide, according to the package.  I’m guessing just the silica is showing here, but there might be other particles like the titanium.  Why do they put titanium in toothpaste?  That’s another…

Salt crystals growing and dissolving!

I saw Manu’s recent video showing snowflakes (ice crystals) melting to form water. I thought I’d try something similar with salt crystals, which slowly dissolve and re-form when placed in water containing a high concentration of dissolved salt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bjJVQ5kVRY&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwSoW3LIg6E All videos shown at 120x actual speed. I made a super-saturated salt solution by pouring two…

Crystallizing Urea

Here are some shots from my first attempt at crystallizing urea and viewing them in the foldscope. I started out by taking a few grams of pure Urea pellets in the lab and dissolving them in about 500uL of water. I put only 20uL of solution onto a glass slide, and then waited a few…

Combating counterfeit medications with the foldscope?

Microscopes are not normally used by pharmacists, but could inexpensive, readily available microscopes be useful to pharmacists?  Perhaps inexpensive microscopes could help pharmacists identify counterfeit medications, especially in developing countries where drug products are not well regulated. To begin addressing these questions, one can ask whether the foldscope may be useful to obtain information about the composition of OTC medications, such as Motrin IB tablets (A). Such tablets are…

Whole Blood EDTA

  I am a phlebotomist in a laboratory where my duties include venipuncture, specimen handling, and processing. During the verification process I used a drop of blood collected in an EDTA tube. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid, or EDTA is an aminopolycarboxylic acid used as an anticoagulant in evacuated tubes. It inhibits the clotting process by removing calcium…