Vulvovaginal Swab

Above is a foldscope image of a vulvovaginal sample collected from a human subject (with written consent to share publicly). Vaginal health is an important part of a woman’s overall health. Imbalances in vaginal health can have serious consequences, including but not limited to infertility and viral infections. Common vaginal health problems include sexually transmitted…

Extracted Comedone

This is a magnified image of an extracted blackhead. My roommate’s boyfriend was sitting in front of the mirror popping his pimples. We were excited to investigate what these ubiquitous follicle invaders looked like close-up. Thank you to Joe for the sample! The scale bar was estimated by calibrating the foldscope using manually delineated 1…

Beetle Anatomy

Second image obtained from https://www.kerbtier.de/Pages/Themenseiten/enKoerperbau.html. See if you can identify what parts of the beetle are in the foldscope image! This guy was captured at Lake Lagunita on Stanford University’s Campus. If you know the species of the beetle, please let us know. The scale bar was estimated by calibrating the foldscope using manually delineated…

Onion Peel

#Bioe301C A thin layer of onion epidermis was laid out on a slide. The cell walls, cytoplasm, as well as the nuclei are observable in the image. Onions are food that are commonly consumed by humans. Onions are often found in pizza, hamburgers, onion rings, french onion soup, and some healthy food as well such…

Tap Water

#BioE301C Tap water from one of Stanford off-campus housing facilities was sampled. We did not observe any living creatures in the limit of the microscope magnification. The vesicle-like spheres are bubbles. We were incredible relieved to find that there are not observeable living organisms in tap water, at least with the resolution at which we…

Hair Follicle

#BioE301C We took a hair follicle and were able to observe the root, its dermal papilla, as well as the cuticle of the hair shaft. This hair follicle is average in thickness. Usually, a hair thicknesss between 0.06 and 0.08 mm is considered to be average while a diameter between 0.08 mm and 0.1 mm…

Spider Leg

I enjoy the sunshine in California a lot, but I’m always bothered by the spiders here. Despite that the spiders are scary, they move fast and can even move on the ceiling upside-down. The mechanism that the spiders can move fast and also stable on the wall is interesting. So I captured one spider and…

Tulip & more

A week-old yellow tulip. Contents of a bag of mango black tea from Trader Joe's. Insect found in tree at Stanford engineering quad. Insect found in tree at Stanford engineering quad.

Mildewed Carrot

Inspired by Alexandar Fleming, I studied a mildewed carrot found in my refrigerator. The orange balls are carrot cells. And the black fibers are the mildew. And the black spots seem to be the cell body of the mildew. The black fibers seem to wind on the carrot tissue and decompose the tissue. A further…

Mysterious Creature from Stanford Fountain

I took a drop of water from the fountain in front of the Green Library and observed it under the foldscope with dark filed. The dark filed image was by adding another lens between the light and the sample. Surprisingly I found this golden creature which may be a unicellular organism due to its size….

I can’t be-leaf it!!! A survey of the leaves on Stanford campus

We observed various types of leaves we could find on campus using the Foldscope. Pictures were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S8. The scale bar was obtained by imaging a caliper set to 0.2mm, obtaining the distance between the calipers on the image, then creating a 100um scale bar that is half that distance. The…

A microscopic feast: Exploring Korean BBQ

We decided to closely examine our food on a recent trip to Gen Korean BBQ (2540 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040, May 5, 2019, 12:31pm). There, we ate (and observed) shrimp, kim chee, seasonings (monosodium glutamate), Bos Taurus (beef), and Sus scrofa domesticus (pork). First, we examined the antennae of shrimp. In…

The flowerful foldscope: Flowers and Fruit on Stanford Campus

We got a white flower from a tree on Stanford campus. Its petal and anther were imaged using the Foldscope. All photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S8. The scale bar was obtained by imaging a caliper set to 0.2mm, obtaining the distance between the calipers on the image, then creating a 100um scale…

Flea Fly Fo Fum

This is an image of a small insect found within the dirt of the Stanford engineering quad. After researching existing insects online, I was unable to determine the species of this critter. My initial thought was that it may resemble a termite, but after placing the scale bar on the image, I realized that the…

Vomiting Ladybug Larva

This ladybug larva was collected on the steps near an oak tree on Stanford’s engineering quad. Ladybugs are known to regurgitate meals if they turn out to be toxic.

Winter moth caterpillar being eaten by wasp

In our intro to Foldscopes class with Manu, our BioE 301C cohort went out to the (wild outdoors!) Stanford Engineering Quad to collect samples for imaging. Each year, springtime brings a whole host of caterpillars to campus, the most notorious of which is the Western Tussock Moth. These guys can be easily identified by their…

Unknown scyphozoan

Cnidarians are a phylum of principally marine invertebrates that includes inter alia coral, anemones, and jellyfish. A defining feature of a cnidarian is its nematocyst or cnidocyst, the secretory subcellular capsule responsible for delivering a cnidarian’s characteristic sting. The kinetics of nematocyst discharge can occur on the nanosecond scale, providing an acceleration upwards of 5…

Dehydrated Anchovy Samples #BioE301C

In the spirit of reproducibility, our group decided to get data from the local supermarket. For this post we will focus on the anchovies we obtained. The anchovies are the dehydrated ones found in packets, and they are usually added as flavoring to soups and other dishes. The first sample of the anchovy we examined…

Shrimp abdomen and tail samples

We took samples of small sundried shrimps of the were put in a slide and observed with the foldscope. The two images shown views of samples from the abdomen and the Lateral ramus part of the tail. We  observe how the samples from the abdomen are mostly translucent and most the back illumination for the…

Hawk Blood Smear, California (ID: 7)

This sample is a stained blood smear of a Hawk found in California, United States.  The hawk appears to have haemosporidian parasites.  The black flecks in the image look may be misshapen red blood cells, which would be indicative of a parasite with a life cycle in red blood cells.  After a bird is infected, parasites finish…

US, hawk/owl (ID: 6)

A prepared blood smear slide from a owl or hawk in the US was provided for examination with the foldscope. The picture was taken using a smartphone with zoom. Within the blood smear, there were several red blood cells with greatly enlarged nuclei. An internet search on avian blood diseases revealed the appearance of the…

Africa, human blood smear (ID: 4)

A prepared slide of a human blood smear from the African continent was provided for examination with the foldscope. The picture was taken using a smartphone with zoom. Within the blood smear, several unexpected cells were visible. They were irregularly shaped and stained darker than the red blood cells. They were long, thin, and curled…

Africa, Blood Smear (Sample ID #2) #BIOE301C

This sample was an unstained blood sample from Africa. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to find any microbes in this sample. Despite scanning all throughout the sample, zooming in and refocusing, I was unsuccessful in finding anything. This speaks to how difficult it is for health community workers to diagnose diseases on out in the…

South East Asia Blood Smear: Brugia malayi (ID #1) #BIOE301C

 The sample provided was a stained human blood sample from Southeast Asia. Scanning through the sample, we were able to find multiple worm specimens. We were able to capture a few in focus photos. Based on the size and shape, we identified the worms to be a type of nematode and specifically a filarial parasite….