Wonder-worms in a pedestal pond

One fine spring morning, my nephew called me to show something ‘interesting’ in a pedestal pond in our housing society. When I reached there, I saw a beautiful lotus blooming and some dry lotus leaves around (they looked curled up or folded). It seemed that they were being stitched together to make a home… wonder…

Life in an ‘Organic pond’ – Part 2

Let’s explore more of the life in an ‘organic’ pond, continuing with the same water sample that we investigated for the last post. I now noticed a larva, about 5 mm long, swimming in the water. It was moving very fast, but I patiently followed it with a dropper and was finally able to pick…

Life in an ‘Organic pond’ – Part 1

After my experience and learning with the Dal Lake water sample, I have been constantly on the lookout for water ecosystems. Recently, I visited my sister’s home at the ‘Organo Eco-Habitat’ in Hyderabad, where there is an artificial pond. I collected water from a corner of the pond, in which I found an insect wing…

Mysteries of Dal Lake, Kashmir – Part 2

After seeing the diverse flora in Part I, here I share the findings on the microbes in the water from Dal Lake. We thought we could find a dense composition of organisms if the water could be centrifuged. Sayantan, a graduate student in biology at TIFR Hyd helped me with this. We put 50 ml…

Mysteries of Dal Lake, Kashmir – Part 1

It all started when my friend got a water sample from Dal Lake, Srinagar. The ecosystem of Dal is ecologically rich with 117 recorded species of hydrophytes and phytoplankton. Here are some views of this beautiful Lake: wonder what we can find inside it, under the Foldscope! In my first observation, I saw many microbes…

Microbial diversity in a paddy field water sample – Part 2

DIATOMS, ROTIFERS and SOMEONE UNIQUE The water drop sample from the paddy field further showed moving diatoms and rotifers. One particular organism puzzled me. At first, from its bifurcated tail, I thought it was a rotifer. But on better focusing, I observed its cilia. Was it a ciliate? It seemed too big for a ciliate….

Microbial diversity in a paddy field water sample – Part 1

Hello Everyone! My explorations with the Foldscope constantly enrich me with interesting experiences of the beautiful and dynamic microbial world, and water samples from different places add a special excitement to my life! My family members know this, so recently my nephew gifted me some water from a paddy field (see Image 1). This water…

28th April, 2019: Foldscope workshop at NCMR, Pune

It was a great experience organizing this workshop for school students in Pune at the National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR-NCCS) with Dr. Praveen Rahi’s help. The students had a great time, and it was wonderful to see the excitement on their faces as they assembled their Foldscope and viewed all sorts of samples. I…

A copepod waves hello

Hi Foldscopers! Copepod sighting from Kitakyushu, Japan! I would like to share a video of  my friend Blair and I seeing a copepod for the first time on March 25th, 2018 with a Foldscope. I scooped some pond water with a paper cup (reused from picnic lunch) from a lily pond where a few koi fish…

Building a micro-aquarium using the ditch-spacer slide technique

One of my long-term aspirations is to possess a micro-aquarium, where microscopic life is constrained in a small slide volume that I could watch for days and see aspects of the cycles of the various life forms. How cool would that be? Yet, it all only seemed like a fancy… until this May, where at the  National…

First Attempt at a Foldscope

This was my first attempt at a foldscope. Viewed a drop of water collected from a pond in Guwahati, India. Any idea what that larva-like organism might be?