Pollen explorations of Thuja

Here in India Thuja plant is considered an auspicious tree/shrub – Morpankhi and is linked to knowledge diety and I remember keeping its twigs in between book pages as a child. The male cones were plucked and pollen isolated to see under foldscope. Thuja – an evergreen, coniferous tree belongs to family cupressaceae ( Cypress…

Pollen from a tree

A medium-sized tree outside my boundary wall provides shade to passer byes in summer noons. These days it is in full bloom with white and purple small flowers. I plucked a few flowers and observed its pollen under foldscope.

Germinating pollen of Mahogony flower

Pollen germination was seen in several pollen of the mahogany flower that were released on teasing the anthers. The pollen were dusted on a slide, covered and observed using a foldscope attached to an iPhone. Long pollen tubes arising from the germ pores were closely observed.

Pollen of Mahogony flower under foldscope

Indian mahogany (also called Red cedar) is botanically known as Toona ciliata. It is a large deciduous tree belonging to family Meliaceae (Neem family). In Chandigarh these trees can be occasionally spotted. I had gone for my car repair, where I spotted this tree in full bloom near the car market. I collected the samples…

A water ecosystem in my home!

Being a plant lover, I have many potted plants in my balcony garden. I water them regularly and the excess water drains into trays below each pot. One day I observed some white cottony patches on the surface of the drained water from one of the pots. The patches looked very much like the downy…

Still seeking the Tardigrade!

Hello friends! My quest to find a Tardigrade led to an exploration the ‘Dagad Phool (Kalpasi)’ ecosystem, with lots of interesting organisms except, no Tardigrades! Recently, on a family trip to Singapore I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren. But everywhere I went, along with my grandchildren, I watched out for lichens and mosses,…

Is it Magic? De-mystifying the Foldscope

Recently in a workshop we probed into students’ curiosity related with their experiences with Foldscopes. One particular question, asked by a student of Grade 9, sparked a lively discussion in the workshop. The question was simple yet striking: “Is there any magic in the Foldscope?“, the student asked. She was perhaps curious to know how…

Curiosity and the Foldscope

Our Foldscope journey with the TSWREIS schools began in October 2017, with the ‘Atoms to Amoeba’ workshop at TIFR Hyderabad. Over the next few months we (i.e. several students and volunteers working with TIFR Hyderabad’s Science Education and Outreach program) followed up in three schools and ourselves messed around with the old Foldscopes. In mid 2018, with…

Powdery mildew on Night jasmine

Powdery mildew (Pseudooidium braunii) spores as seen under foldscopePowdery mildew disease on the leaf of Nyctanthes arbortritis (Night jasmine)

Foldscope Outreach at Vanita Vishram Primary School 24th Sept 18

Under the aegis of tge Star DBT Scheme at K.C.College an outreach was organised as a special request for 4th graders st Vanita Vishram Primary School, V.P.Road, Mumbai. The childrens joy had no bounds when they could hold the microscope in their hands, adjust on their own to enhance the field view n more. Led…