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…

What can we learn from microbes?

Believe it or not, life does not end where our vision does. In fact, life goes deeper and gets smaller than one could ever imagine! A single drop of water has innumerable unique, diverse, creepy, yet amazing organisms. When we look at a drop of water, we do not see the tiny life forms within,…