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Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Science 89

ananyo writes: "If ever a technology were ripe for disruption, it is the microscope. Microscopes are expensive and need to be serviced and maintained. Unfortunately, one important use of them is in poor-world laboratories and clinics, for identifying pathogens, and such places often have small budgets and lack suitably trained technicians. Now Manu Prakash, a bioengineer at Stanford University, has designed a microscope made almost entirely of paper, which is so cheap that the question of servicing it goes out of the window. Individual Foldscopes are printed on A4 sheets of paper (ideally polymer-coated for durability). A pattern of perforations on the sheet marks out the 'scope's components, which are colour-coded in a way intended to assist the user in the task of assembly. The Foldscope's non-paper components, a poppy-seed-sized spherical lens made of borosilicate or corundum, a light-emitting diode (LED), a watch battery, a switch and some copper tape to complete the electrical circuit, are pressed into or bonded onto the paper. (The lenses are actually bits of abrasive grit intended to roll around in tumblers that smooth-off metal parts.) A high-resolution version of this costs less than a dollar, and offers a magnification of up to 2,100 times and a resolving power of less than a micron. A lower-spec version (up to 400x magnification) costs less than 60 cents."

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dupe (5, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#46759147)

this is of-course a dupe [slashdot.org] , but hey, what else is new.

Ted talk on this device. [ted.com]

Re:dupe (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 4 months ago | (#46759229)

Yes, but this one is less than double the price!

http://www.linuxadvocates.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759327)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Dupes are annoying but hiring editors is costly and as you know money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/... [linuxadvocates.com]

Re:dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760893)

And roman_mir/udachny knows a thing or two about dupes.

Re:dupe (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#46761155)

I guess not enough people are voting in firehose. Whining about the outcome is fun and all, but you could do something about it. This is also true of the republican and democratic parties, through the primaries, but I digress.

Re:dupe (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#46761247)

by "whining" are you implying that I do not vote in firehose? Is that your professional opinion, I mean, are you paid to believe that or is this just a result of being an ass, your statement here?

Re:dupe (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 months ago | (#46761445)

What exactly do editors do around here? I want to see that job description.

Re:dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46762435)

Re:dupe (1)

tokiko (560961) | about 4 months ago | (#46762669)

So chronologically ...

2012-06-?? Video filmed
2014-03-05 arXiv.org submission [arxiv.org]
2012-03-07 Video published on TED [ted.com]
2014-03-07 wired.com article [wired.com]
2014-03-08 pipedot.org story [pipedot.org]
2014-03-10 slashdot.org first story [slashdot.org]
2014-03-14 economist.com article [economist.com]
2014-03-15 slashdot.org second story [slashdot.org]

So, someone may have filmed the video a few years ago, but the video was only posted online recently. Afterwards the story made the rounds on various news sites over the next few weeks. Hardly that old of news...

dupe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759189)

I think we've seen this one before: http://science.slashdot.org/st... [slashdot.org]

2012 news (1)

oxygen_deprived (1127583) | about 4 months ago | (#46759223)

This was a ted talk 2 YEARS ago. Wake up slash editors...

Re:2012 news (2)

siddesu (698447) | about 4 months ago | (#46759455)

I still want to know if you can see anything at all at 2k magnification. High magnification is easy. Good images at high magnification is what matters in a microscope.

Re:2012 news (2, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46759659)

and a resolving power of less than a micron.

Around 1/100th of the width of a human hair.

Re:2012 news (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 months ago | (#46759767)

That doesn't answer siddesu's question at all.

Re:2012 news (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46761727)

Well, he didn't strictly ask a question, but that aside:

I still want to know if you can see anything at all at 2k magnification.

The answer is: yes, you can see things that are 1/100th the width of a human hair.

Re:2012 news (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 months ago | (#46766289)

That still doesn't answer his question.

Yes, you can see that there is a thing that is 1/100th the width of a hair. Can you see what it is? Can you distinguish it from other similarly sized things in close proximity?

Re:2012 news (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46772703)

That still doesn't answer his question.

And he still didn't ask a question. Pedantry aside, I've answered his "question" perfectly well, which was "[Can you] see anything at all at 2k magnification[?]" It's actually a pretty vague and pointless question, when you think about it. The answer is either yes, you can see something, or no, you can't see anything.

For some reason everyone's decided that he was actually asking a far more involved question with all kinds of additional parameters which are being sprung from nowhere.

Can you see what it is?

That depends what it is. Being able to see an object doesn't imply that you can identify it.

Can you distinguish it from other similarly sized things in close proximity?

That is more-or-less the practical definition of "resolving power."

Re:2012 news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46773683)

For some reason everyone's decided that he was actually asking a far more involved question with all kinds of additional parameters which are being sprung from nowhere.

Maybe that is because it looks like a question many of us with microscopy experience would ask, implying all the baggage you disregarded. Even really nice microscopes that can be configured for 1000-2000x magnification can sometimes produce crap images that are vary from barely usable to useless. It isn't just about the magnification that makes a microscope useful, and not even about the resolving power either, but ofter factors like field of view and stuff that effect how bright the image is with a reasonable light source. It is the same as anyone with some working telescope experience seeing one of those cheap telescopes in a department store that have some large magnification number as their only selling point on the box. They'll ask, "But what can you actually see with it?" and anyone else familiar with how incomplete of a story the magnification number gives for a telescope will know they are not asking how big things would be in an ideal scope with that magnification.

Some of this is kind of moot, because if being used for some sort of pass-fail testing, you can have pretty bad images and still get what you need, while some other tests could be done with a lot of training. But other tests would be tedious if the field of view and illumination sucks, and it would be difficult to use to train or teach. Unfortunately, in education settings is where people are most typically trying to get cheap as possible, and providers are more than willing to slap on lenses labeled with high magnifications, but in actuality are literally incapable of seeing anything because the optics and design are so bad.

Holy Awesome Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759225)

I have never, nor will I ever, accomplish something as awesome as this.

I feel inadequate now.

Re:Holy Awesome Batman! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759281)

Really? You can't publish dups? Just retrieve yesterday's posts and submit them today - it's not that hard.

Re:Holy Awesome Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759295)

Do the next best thing. If they're made available to the public, I'll buy a crapload of them and give them out for Halloween, maybe fire up a spark of imagination in the young ones. How awesome would that be?

Re:Holy Awesome Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759599)

GREAT idea...
or simply sprinkle them around at your nearest school lab...

Overpriced at $0.60 (1, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#46759263)

For only $0.50, you can get this nicer toy microscope [alibaba.com] on Alibaba. People have been making microscopes from drops of water [slashdot.org] or glass beads since Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope. With tiny optics, the view is dim, but it works.

Why is that nicer? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46759551)

That link leads to a microscope that looks a cheap piece of crap.

The Foldscope (or whatever it is) looks way easier to store, easier for most people to use, and looks like it would also be substantially brighter. If I were choosing between the two I'd pay 10x the cost of that Alibab scope to get a Foldscope instead.

What is even the magnification on that thing? 0x?

Re:Why is that nicer? (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46759727)

What is even the magnification on that thing? 0x?

Woah. Wouldn't that mean you could see... everything? Only really small...

Re:Why is that nicer? (1)

BattleApple (956701) | about 4 months ago | (#46760933)

You'd be better off doing this -
http://gizmodo.com/how-to-use-... [gizmodo.com]

just taping the lens from a $1 laser pointer onto your phone camera lens works well enough to play around with

Re:Why is that nicer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46763391)

You know, instead of linking to the blogspam gizmodo, you could have just linked the youtube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpMTkr_aiYU

Re:Why is that nicer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761153)

I'm not sure that it's possible for something to look like a cheap piece of crap compared to a bit of fucking bog roll.

Re:Why is that nicer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761703)

yes, resolving power 1 universe.

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46759709)

For only $0.50, you can get this nicer toy microscope [alibaba.com] on Alibaba.

No, you can't. For $10,000 you can get 20,000 of them, but you can't get one at $0.50.

What's the magnification? I think it might be a bit shy of 2,100x.

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760109)

All you need to do is find 19999 other people. I think the Libertarians call that being a quitter.

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46764751)

Go back to Russia, pinko!

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 months ago | (#46759805)

Shit, if that's more than 20x, I'll eat one.

Nicer, my ass.

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (3, Insightful)

dalias (1978986) | about 4 months ago | (#46760559)

Toy microscopes don't work at all. Their focus knobs are loose so that you constantly lose focus while trying to see the sample, and they only have one focus knob which makes it essentially impossible to focus to begin with (real microscopes have coarse and fine knobs). And the magnification rating is always fake. If they advertise 400x, expect resolving power so poor that they're essentially 20x or less. I once got one of these pieces of junk and ended up going back to eBay for a $80 vintage Bausch and Lomb scope which I'm very happy with, but sadly I think that was a rare find and I just got lucky.

Re:Overpriced at $0.60 (1)

Extide (1002782) | about 4 months ago | (#46763437)

LOL, the term "you can get this nicer toy microscope on Alibaba" .. NEVER HEARD BEFORE!!

Making a Difference (5, Interesting)

eastjesus (3182503) | about 4 months ago | (#46759339)

Back around 1985 I worked with a teacher in a grade school with a lot of low income students creating a microscope that the kids could build and use out of trash quickly. We used a cardboard box that used to hold wooden matches and cut a flap in the wide sides so light could illuminate the inside and covered one end with aluminum foil. Other boxes could also be used but the slide made it easy to focus. A small hole was punched in the center of the foil. The object to be examined was placed inside on top of the part of the box that slid in and out (which was now exposed to light) and a drop of water put in the hole in the foil. It worked remarkably well and the kids had a great time with it looking at all sorts of things inside and outdoors but maybe the greatest thing was that the kids started thinking about how things worked and coming up with novel solutions rather than just buying something to do the job.

I know (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#46759361)

Why don't you have them manufactured by robots, then you can put the rest of the microscope business on the street too?

Re:I know (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | about 4 months ago | (#46760841)

What is this, the 00's? 3D-printing is how things are made now, grandpa.

Re:I know (1)

eastjesus (3182503) | about 4 months ago | (#46761491)

Agreed, unless you don't have one handy. The point was for the kids (they were 2nd grade) to think about stuff around them in new ways. I used to win bar bets when I lived in Wisconsin by claiming to be able to start a fire using the bowl that the peanuts were in and some water. Only worked when it was sunny and freezing outside, though, but it was a good excuse to have another couple of beers.

Re:I know (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#46761977)

I used to win bar bets when I lived in Wisconsin by claiming to be able to start a fire using the bowl that the peanuts were in and some water.

depends what the bowl was made of... if it is a fire bowl then yes, i could do that. if it is a wooden or plastic or metal bowl, then no.

Re:I know (1)

eastjesus (3182503) | about 4 months ago | (#46773751)

The bowl was plastic with the inside forming a hemisphere. Fill it with water, take it outside to freeze, have a couple of beers while waiting, then take out a 6" f/1.0 lens made of ice. Focus the sun on a piece of paper or something flammable. It's not the greatest lens for imaging but it will start paper on fire. Water can make interesting optics, both liquid and solid.

Re:I know (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#46775041)

But what about the peanuts?

Re:I know (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#46761545)

3D printing is a prototyping technology, not a manufacturing technology. And today's crop of brilliant, low-cost LEDs might help with that dim-field problem cited above.

less than a micron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759389)

Yeah, sure, who remembers Shannon nowadays?

Why lie about it being made of paper? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759479)

It contains many components that are not paper. This is Republican level of untruth here. /. has completely given in to their rule. It's sad to see this site destroyed by CONservatives.

PS: Why is the login broken for the Beta again? It is a disaster.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (2, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#46759701)

The Economist is a Conservative publication??? You have an interesting perspective on the world.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759817)

They don't support a reasonable basic income. That makes them pretty damn racist and right winger. They don't support having wealthy people pay their fair share for the people that can't afford to live on their own. Their "let the poor and minorities starve" position is as right wing as you can get. They are run and ruled by CONservatives.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761081)

Not quite sure how that makes them racist. But then I'm not a blithering imbecile.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (0)

judoguy (534886) | about 4 months ago | (#46761861)

Have you actually read an Economist? I've had a subscription for years.

>>They don't support a reasonable basic income

WTF does that mean?!? You think the magic sky fairy should provide an income to everyone? Really? Earth to AC. If you took ALL the theoretical wealth from the evil 1% or whoever you hate, it wouldn't make up a single years budget deficit in the US. Then all that's gone. Then what?

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46762565)

Your numbers are not even close to accurate.

2013 US budget deficit is only : ~$680 billion http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/30/news/economy/deficit-2013-treasury/

Top 1% have an average net worth of 8.4 million. There is over 3 million of them which works out to a little over 25 Trillion.
There average income is $717,000 * 3+million = 2.1+ Trillion.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/03/21/average-america-vs-the-one-percent/

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#46764017)

If you took ALL the theoretical wealth from the evil 1% or whoever you hate, it wouldn't make up a single years budget deficit in the US.

False!

0/10 not even plausible.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760161)

>The Economist is a Conservative publication??? You have an interesting perspective on the world.

Umm, yeah. Is this news to you? Certainly outside the U.S. it is considerate somewhat conservative.

For example, over the last 60 years it has almost always endorsed the Conservative party in the general election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist_editorial_stance#Endorsements)

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (1)

painandgreed (692585) | about 4 months ago | (#46770399)

>The Economist is a Conservative publication??? You have an interesting perspective on the world.

Umm, yeah. Is this news to you? Certainly outside the U.S. it is considerate somewhat conservative.

For example, over the last 60 years it has almost always endorsed the Conservative party in the general election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist_editorial_stance#Endorsements)

Yep, but in the States, people like my Republican father find it a bit too liberal for his tastes. He still reads it because it has good information, but he can't see how they could endorse Obama in the last election (which they did), but there are other issues besides economics going on there. Of course, Obama is considered a solid conservative to most outside the US apparently.

Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760675)

By current neocon/libertarian standards Reagan was a spend-thrift liberal.

Link to the paper (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759497)

The website is a bit thin on detail. Here's their paper from the FAQ

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1403/1403.1211.pdf

Hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759511)

At that cost, you could have a drawer full of them. Whip it out of your pocket and see if that fork you're about to shove in a pile of spaghetti is actually a festering spike of salmonella.
It is literally 200 times cheaper than an equal performance educational microscope.

Clearly someone found the real life cheat menu.

Re:Hacks (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#46760055)

It is literally 200 times cheaper than an equal performance educational microscope.

That educational microscope is designed to last 200 times as long and be 200 times more versatile.

Re:Hacks (2)

kesuki (321456) | about 4 months ago | (#46760487)

the paper microscope is easy to incinerate, and i doubt the have autoclaves to sterilize the 'same magnification' in a educational microscope. the thing can be printed on almost any printer with a few parts (battery) that shouldn't be incinerated and are not printable yet.
to use all you do is go into a shaded room insert a slide and see everything on a tabletop below the device. they can then have a list of pathogen shots pre printed and bundled with the microscope, at least the website has the photos so including common pathogens adds little to the cost. in africa you don't need education to be a doctor. you show up and do what you can. a quality microscope that doesn't come with shots of known pathogens is unlikely to exist in many parts of africa. while a $1 paper projection microscope doesn't seem like it is great, it is something that can really help people.

Re:Hacks (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 months ago | (#46766359)

see if that fork ... is actually a festering spike of salmonella.

Good luck with that...

...on a smartphone! (1, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46759523)

Great. Now, what I want you to do is make it origami onto the cameras everyone is toting around and connect it to an image recognition library / service. Blam. Instant bug detection. Not so sure about the diag? Snap the shot, post it online / send it off and have some pros ID the doodads. Also, video. Microscopic Vine Compilation Videos. I can hear the semen commentary now.

Re:...on a smartphone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760177)

Finally, a cheap way for Tim Landers to see his dick!

Microscope made out of paper... (3, Informative)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 4 months ago | (#46759627)

....and a poppy-seed-sized spherical lens made of borosilicate or corundum... ...and a light-emitting diode (LED), ...and a watch battery, ...and a switch ...and some copper tape)

Re:Microscope made out of paper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759759)

Sounds like something MacGuyver would come up with.

Re:Microscope made out of paper... (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 4 months ago | (#46760705)

"Entirely" apparently now means "mostly'ish".

b-sh-it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46778813)

Minimum order $75 for Swiss Jewel Co. 0.2 mm sapphire ball lens

Make slashdot out of paper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46759691)

Better then beta!

No, this is not what the developing world needs (3, Insightful)

nietsch (112711) | about 4 months ago | (#46759883)

This is what some uni group thought up to score some charity points with. "look we made an scientific instrument that almost everyone can recognise but almost no-one knows how to use, and made a very cheap & crappy version of it. And since it is cheap, it is good for the poor".
No thanks. Cheap microscopes have been around for ages, probably because some parents think it will help their kid become a smart scientist later in life. None of these are used in the developing world for medical diagnosis, because there is no need for it. Sending millions of these overseas will help almost no-one.
Having access to a microscope does not make you a doctor nor will that allow you to make a reliable diagnosis. You need training for that, and that training is way more expensive than the microscope or other tools you will use. And training/people to train is something that is lacking, not microscopes.
Presenting a technical solution to this social problem will give them praise 'for the good work they do for the poor' but in reality they could have danced raindances in the poor's name to the same effect.

Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (5, Insightful)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | about 4 months ago | (#46760023)

The whole point of this, the whole point, is to make specialized idiot-proof diagnostic tools. Did you watch the Ted talk? It's short and informative. If you see the vid, you'll see that many of these places have a fancy microscope already that no one can use. With this thing they can create a specialized single use malaria detector for example. Very little training is required to insert slide, look at image, malaria? Yes/No. That's the point of this, that's what they are trying to achieve. It's a good idea, and it could transform diagnosis in the third world.

example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46763299)

I'm working at one of the top tier biotech companies in 1990
lunch, time seminair, the speaker says he was in New Guinea, up in the mountains, at the clinic
sometimes the electricy went out, and the electric autoclave , of course, stopped working
people would put things in the dead autoclave, close the door, wait an hour.
not dumb; just not trained

Re:example (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 months ago | (#46766457)

No, that's dumb. Electrical appliances don't work without electricity. 2+2=4.

Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 months ago | (#46766445)

So why don't they focus on training to use the equipment they already have?

Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760125)

Yep.

Apart from that: There is something called "empty magnification" in microscopy when magnification is increased but no further increase in resolution is obtained. This means you see everything larger as opposed to more detail, i.e. a blurry blob representing the nucleus of a cell just gets larger instead of being visualized in greater detail, being able to see chromatin deposits or the nucleolus. As far as I can remember, obtaining useful magnification into the 1000s requires special condensers, oil immersion, coverslips manufactured to tight tolerances and well set-up Köhler illumination.

And for optical diagnosis of most pathogens, microscopy is just the last step in a whole chain. You'll also need the glassware, reagents, incubators, autoclaves, trained personnel...

Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 4 months ago | (#46760799)

MOOCs provide free education. Give each child a laptop, or something like that, and they can learn how to use the microscope. Or they can play with it and learn on their own, which is better than not having one, right?

Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (1)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#46761673)

Training does not make one a doctor, either. There are tens of thousands of incompetent quacks in the Third World with medical certificates whose diagnoses are less trustworthy than the old lady who sells herbs in the market, and the quack charges prices that the poor can't afford. If the old lady's granddaughter can use this tool and a printed page with sketches of different microorganisms then the poor have a better chance of getting the help they need.

BTW, the training does not have to be expensive. Cuba and Venezuela both sponsor medical professional training (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) for free, as long as the student is willing to spend their first x-many years after graduation (5 years, I think) working in under-served areas of their countries.

Or you can just use your cell phone (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#46760073)

If you go to the University of Washington website and check today's news, you'll see a UW scientist developed an app so you can use your cell phone as a microscope.

It's an app.

You don't have to kill trees.

Re:Or you can just use your cell phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760151)

Because cellphones put so much less stress on the environment than a sheet of paper does.

Re:Or you can just use your cell phone (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#46760209)

Because cellphones put so much less stress on the environment than a sheet of paper does.

Hey if you can't destroy Central African countries for rare earths, what good is life?

Why a watch battery? (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 4 months ago | (#46760213)

Use a penlite instead with much more capacity for 1/20 the price.

Re:Why a watch battery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761435)

You do realize watch batteries are DIRT CHEAP in bulk?

It is only the ones at the grocery store they sell for hearing aides and well, watches, that are expensive.

and yet where is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760415)

This was originally announced in 2012. I have 50 cents in my pocket. WHERE CAN I GET ONE? I can't? Oh then STFU.

This again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760423)

Yawn.

This would be a lot more fun... (1)

drdread66 (1063396) | about 4 months ago | (#46760653)

...if they open-sourced the design or at least just let me download a PDF so I could print one and make it at home. As the FAQ says, however, "Foldscope is not yet commercially available."

This, of course, makes me wonder why this needs to be commercial at all...

Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46760941)

It doesn't exist until I can buy one.

Real cost (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 4 months ago | (#46760943)

Come on... how much is a chip anyway, just a few grains of sand?

What the fuck is "poor-world"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761059)

Oh, you mean THIRD world, those hellholes where sub-70 IQ savages live, who are, of course, 'just the same as us', because the Jew television said so. Have I summed it up adequately enough?
The fundamental question is - WHY is the third world the third world? Is it because of the LAND MASS that the people live on, that somehow makes them less intelligent than white people, and unable to wipe their own asses? Is it because of the WEATHER? No, it's because of their GENES, and everybody knows it.

So why are we all lying about this?

why not injection molding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46761269)

I find it hard to believe that one couldn't stamp out high precision injection molded plastic to which you would add the same components and have a better microscope. How precisely can you print something and then how precisely can you fold it. For microscopes magnifying at x100 or more, mechanical precision and stability is critical. This is something that high quality injection molding is great at. Pick the right plastic with the right fillers and you've got a winner.

that spherical lens is also going to raise issues. Aberrations are pretty severe. The way the article reads, it would be like rolling a clear marble around a piece of microfiche and trying to read it. Again, high quality aspheric lenses can be made for pennies from plastic. Why not do that, glue it into that injection molded plastic housing, and be done with it.

The problem here isn't getting microscopes into the hands of "poor disease ridden Africans". If microscopes cost $100 each (and you can make a nice microscope for $100 mfr cost) for $10M, you can get 100,000 of them, which is enough for practically every village and health aide in Africa. And you could use a mirror and the sun for illumination. (it's not like you need to do your pathology work in the dead of night, and there ARE, already, decent cheap LED lights in Africa)

The problem is getting people who know how to USE that microscope effectively.

Or build a cheap addition to a computer that can do computational pathology.. A microscope attachment to a OLPC with suitable image processing software might be a better revolution.

The bigger picture (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 4 months ago | (#46765811)

Lets break this down a little bit:
+ This is a device ideally aimed for third world countries
+ No training/procedures for handling the device
+ They will be reusing the item as much as possible to save on costs, regardless if it says "single use".
+ An item that comes into direct contact with the disease.
= More spread of diseases.

Its all well and good inventing the tools for the job.
But who is going to pay the cost for the training to ensure this device doesn't start a mass epidemic?

b-sh-it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46778829)

Minimum order sum is $75.00 for Swiss Jewel Co. 0.2 mm sapphire ball lens in components list

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