Manu Prakash and his lab at Stanford University have designed an origami based paper microscope, called a Foldscope. The microscope is printed on waterproof paper. The user punches out the pieces and folds them together to create a fully functional microscope. It works with standard microscope slides and requires no external power to operate. You simply hold the Foldscope up to a light source (like the sun) and look through the salt grain-sized lens to view the sample on the slide. The high curvature of the tiny lenses used in the Foldscope allows small objects to be highly magnified. This little invention costs less than a dollar to produce and could have major implications for global health and for science education.
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