I have moved to a new kind of foldscope-inspired project– growing near pure cultures of microbes; ciliates, little animals etc. At the outset, let me confess that not one of my cultures has successfully propagated over the past 6 months or so. Wasted plates, contaminated media, complaints from other human residents of the house about stinky cultures, a tinge of disappointment– I have been facing all this and more. Someday I will see the light, but till then the journey of failure has been a wonderful learning experience.
You can imagine that I keep scouting for new candidates to culture. It was in this light today morning that I came across a strange looking globule in my lichen suspension. With a pasteur pipette I pulled it off my plate and put it on a slide to watch under the foldscope. An hour passed and nothing happened, and then duty called and so I had to be gone for the day. Almost as an afterthought, I just set it up for timelapse under the foldscope taking pictures every 30 seconds for as long as it would take to fill up my phone.
I came home tonight almost running over three deer and 2 raccoons and barely escaping the traffic cop’s gaze. To my disappointment, the moving edge of the water drop had moved my sample away, but I thought I’d render the time lapse and see the movie anyway. So without much ado, here it is and what happened is pretty self-explanatory.
Hint. Since it is a short video, you might want to slow it down using the youtube settings at the bottom, see it at 0.5x the speed.