Oops! There is something wrong with my foldscope!

Does the title of this blog sound familiar from any of your recent experiences with foldscopes?  It just might, if you are an enthusiastic foldscope user (like me) who wants to put a foldscope in the hands of every school kid.  Perhaps you recently conducted a teachers’ workshop and then let loose the foldscopes into…

Zooplankton in a water puddle

It was a foot-deep puddle near the boundary of our large housing complex. For months no-one gave it a second look — till its wealth of gliding, writhing animal life was revealed by our foldscopes. Only then we found out that the water in this permanent puddle came from a rusty, leaking one-inch metal pipe…

Moss in rainwater

After a few monsoon showers, the water in the large rainwater pool looked quite clear, showing no obvious sign of life, even under the foldscope. But standing in a bottle over 18 days, it got steadily cloudier. Our first surprise came when, at the foldscope workshop, teachers from TSWREIS Chilkur school put a drop of…

Mold on curd (homemade yogurt)!!!

Mold on curd, is that even possible? That was my first reaction when I first saw it happen, and I bet many of you would have reacted similarly. Let us walk you through the whole sequence of events as they happened. However let me clarify, I wasn’t looking for mold on curd, it just happened. After my previous post…

A small step – Foldscopes reach teachers

The lesson for June may be patience. As hundreds of newly recruited teachers get counselled, assigned schools and trained; and hundreds more working teachers anticipate their transfer orders to new schools, bright and creative minds mill around, waiting. This week, just days after they joined school, we held a workshop to introduce foldscopes to teachers…

Check your cheek cells

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018   Deep down in the center of cheek  cells, the ‘wise’ nucleus appeared through the  foldscope, to give a surprise visit for the viewers. The cells are irregular in shape and have the nucleus at the center. K. T. Veronica, TSWREIS Gowlidoddi These are our foldscope numbers:…

A Day in TIFR

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018 Sharada Haritha Foldscope ID Numbers: 000207EAA812, 00020CD0BE1C, 000284DDDE15, 00020E40738C, 0002050BFFDF, 000246BEACDD, 00020F8783D5, 00024E2E4719, 00022A696A85, 0002236629B9, 00026F864341, 00022E951CC1, 0002068A5D50, 0002E06E7868, 00024A310B26, 000275D93994, 00022A6964FC, 0002110CFC29, 000227DB1712, 00022656B03D, 0002976B2C1C, 00026E3A1B01.

Observation of stomata in Little hogweed (Portulaca oleracea)

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad,June 19-20, 2018 We observed the Portulaca leaf which is a dicot, leaf arrangment is alternate We observed guard cells. In this plant the stomata are paracytic in nature i.e. stomata have subsidiary cells parallel to the opening between the guard cells. Archana, Geetha Kumari, Rajeswari, TSWREIS  Dharmaram B. Our Foldscope Id…

Onion peel of outer epidermis and inner epidermis

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad, June 19-20, 2018 A. Durga & V. Sravanthi, TSWREIS Mahindra Hills 0002DE92B795 00020F209C88 0002DF026902 00022E8ABF01 000201CCBBC8 000204F47A4B 00020B0650D4 00025561AFF9 0002E19FEA1B 000225B842D9 000225702339 0002DF2D32BA 0002DCD02445 0002C13B3BFB 00021287227D 00022CA412EC 00020A884D000FC 000206FA4F17 000212F487B4 0002E0CD4D82 0002C1A2551F 00029C1B6A13

Algae in pond water

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018   Thin strands of filamentous algae are seen in the above picture. Live diatoms and micro arthropods are seen moving actively around  the algae (may be in search of food). We are not sure about the name of the algae, whether they are Ulothrix or Oedogonium. Can…

Observation of pollen grains in Hibiscus

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018 We observed the pollen grains of Hibiscus rosasinensis, which belongs to Malvaceae family. The pollen grains are very clear and olive yellow in colour. The surface of pollen colporate (having apertures which combine a rounded pore and a groove) having numerous round tip spines. E. Sreenivas (JL in…

Binary Fission in Amoeba and Amazing Arthropods

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018 We viewed a sample of pond water through a Foldscope and were surprised to observe the following: (1) Two daughter Amoebae in the process of splitting (2) Dividing Nucleus was also visible. Microarthropods in a sample of pond water We prepared a slide of pond water and…

Transverse Section of Portulaca oleracea stem

Foldscope workshop at TIFR Hyderabad June 19-20, 2018 Mary Mrudula Saraswathi Arunajyothi Foldscope ID Numbers: 0002D6527B52, 00024E5F063C, 0002E28444D7, 000257A9169E, 00024CD92710, 0002E26B66D0, 0002E22BA7B0, 000227846242, 0002383FBEDC, 0002BD0506F4, 0002E16CE210, 0002142385DD, 00020BF34D0E, 00025376D2D6, 00021FF29FBA, 0002D1639902, 00021507383A, 0002D820E4E4, 0002234435A6, 0002BDBCA2A4, 000298508867, 00027C082465, 0002799C742E

Cheek and inner lip cells

At about 60 microns in size, human cheek cells are larger than most other animal cells (which are typically 10-30 microns). They are also easily found, by gently chewing the inside of your cheek and scraping out the surface with a spoon or a finger. These are some images of Hardi’s cheek cells, first without…

Onion outside in

We started with an onion from the outside.  First there’s a dried up layer or ‘tunic’ that we don’t eat. The cells in the tunic must be dead. Even the cell walls are disintegrated, quite unlike the dead xylem cells that we saw in matchsticks. Later we found, in the wonderful Walter Dioni’s website, that…

Matchstick cells

The school year has begun, with new textbooks, new stuff to learn, and soon, new foldscopes for students in ten of the TSWREIS schools — thanks to DBT and Prakash Lab’s ‘India Foldscope Phase 1’. The school curriculum of Telangana State luckily prescribes quite a few microscope activities. We are trying these out, with a…

A Lousy Story

  I am Bhavya Sahithi a summer visiting student with TIFR Hyderabad’s science education and outreach program (microcosmos link). That’s how I got my new foldscope. I managed to find some head lice and made quite a few observations on them — their eggs, the male-female differences and the feces of this fascinating parasitic insect….

Parts of a Portulaca oleracea flower

Hi, I am Udit Sancheti, a summer visiting student at TIFR Hyderabad’s Science Education and Outreach Program.  Here is the microcosmos link. In my explorations with the foldscope, I made many observations with fairly random objects such as my skin tissue, jeans fabric, sand grains, among others. Some of them were really good. However, the…

A mouth ulcer made me curious

  I am Hardi Parmar, a summer visiting student with TIFR Hyderabad’s science education and outreach program (microcosmos link). That’s how I got my new foldscope. My first bright idea for the foldscope was kindled by the burning sensation of an ulcer in my mouth. The ulcer must have lots of bacteria I thought, and…

Life in a pedestal pond

Hyderabad was once a city of beautiful lakes and ponds and to some it still seems so. Our place-names record long-lost water — Gachibowli (well), Nallakunta (pond), Patancheru (lake), Chaderghat (riverside), and many more. As we continue to lose our water sources to urban sprawls we experience the seamy side of the few struggling water…

Fungus on onion

Onions in India often grow a black powdery fungus. Here’s a folscope-look at this fungus and the cells that it grows on. First try – we discarded the dry papery outer peels and looked at the inner wet peel of the onion which was spotted with fungus. We stained it with methylene blue. It seems…

Slices of plants

After our first ‘Atoms to Amoeba’ workshop four of our neighbouring TSWREIS (social welfare residential) schools took back two foldscopes each. Too few, yet so far several hundred students, most from remote rural parts of Telangana, have got their own “wow” moments on these foldscopes. It happened because our teacher participants went beyond conducting foldscope…

Inculcating Research Culture Right From Schools

As a part of TIFR, Hyderabad’s efforts to facilitate better science education in the local schools, it now interacts closely with four of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Schools, all within 10 km from the institute. On regular close interactions with the teachers and students alike from the schools, we realized that schools are fast…