Mar 25 2014, 8:48am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
Can Third World diseases and maladies be cured by means of an instrument that is dirt cheap and very easy to build and use? The correct answer is a resounding yes. A researcher and professor at Stanford University, Manu Prakash and his students, have created a paper microscope out of a few very cheap materials. And its cost is just 50-cents.
The objects used include an LED, a chronometer battery, optical lens and a flat sheet of ordinary paper. The instrument folds and overlaps to finally form a microscope that can enlarge small objects and bacteria up to 2000 times their original size.
The queer object is called the Foldoscope and it is extremely inexpensive. To create one all it takes is roughly a dollar. Furthermore, since it is made of writing paper and very small optical stuff, it cannot be broken or damaged easily.
This of course is a source of optimism for Third World Countries where many infectious and transmittable diseases require analysis by means of a microscope.
The really good thing about the Foldoscope is that it can be carried anywhere you want in your pocket. The handy nature of this device makes it the ideal carrying instrument for doctors and researchers not to mention scientists.
Such contagious diseases as Malaria, Typhoid and Whooping Cough can be virtually eradicated within record time thanks to this very inexpensive instrument of close analysis.
The benefits it holds for such countries as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where the poor face a host of infections and illnesses are immense. Soon the Foldoscope could be commercialized and become a part of scientific culture.
"Prakash is hoping that because the Foldscope is so cheap to manufacture and easy to assemble that everyone will have access to the world of microscopy and one day every kid will have a Foldscope in their backpacks or tucked away in their pocket," according to Yahoo! News (via ABC News).
The scope (no pun intended) of this microscope is very great indeed. It is of the same importance for microbiology as the printing press was for knowledge dissemination. And this step will revolutionize the material and medical conditions in Third World countries.
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