The Professor from Stanford

You kill a mosquito. It will immediately squirt out all the blood from its body. Suddenly, you want to make a fine, evident examination of the oozing blood so you take out your microscope from your pocket, assemble it and zoom in about 2000x into the blood droplets.

As a matter of fact, it really is possible for you to own a microscope for less than a dollar (less than Rs. 17!). Thanks to a certain physicist/bio-engineer.

Manu Prakash is an assistant professor of bio-engineering at the Stanford School of Medicine. He is also the creator of the ‘Foldscope’, the worlds cheapest, assembled microscope accessible to students and researchers alike, with the help of a punched sheet of cardstock, a spherical lens, a battery to power the LED and a diode that emits light, on a regular A4 sized paper!

Snapshots from the Foldscope.

Prakash’s simple aim of making affordable microscopes that can identify most malarial parasites and coli’s was severely backed by various foundations, along with a start up donation of about $100,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a few others.

Professor Manu Prakash has donated 100,000 Foldscopes to students and researchers and is also planning a Foldscope start up in Kenya, Uganda and his native India.

As per the rate of new affordable and useful products and instruments introduced in the last decade, it can be fairly said that the world could better in time, provided we establish a certain way of product usage. We have people like Manu Prakash and various others who invent and discover hundreds of environment friendly and affordable useful products, lets make them big.

Well, that’s Science for you!


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