https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7448294 : 13 comments
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7377213 : 58 comments
I got tired arguing with people that the cost of healthcare is not the microscope.
Its either the people or the disposable goods. For example, it is difficult and costly to prepare the following slides: http://cdn.dogomedia.com/system/ckeditor_assets/pictures/532...
At the end of the day $757,000 could have been used to dig 1000 wells.
λ can be rounded to 500nm and the NA of a standard 20x objective is .4 giving 1.5µm. This is good because I was worried you caught me just making things up for the internet. A 40x with a .65 NA gives just under 1µm resolution.
Resolution is also a slightly fuzzy spec depending on the audience. I go with the Raleigh criteria: You can't distinguish between two particles separated by less than the resolution distance. You can however, see particles much smaller than that, and there are many variations, most of which give you better resolution numbers. We occasionally use other specifications when we need to say we met a specific target.
The standard objectives I am quoting are Olympus Plan Acromats, different systems have different tube lenses which cause you to get a different magnification out of the same objective. That is why the NA is the important factor. Otherwise I would just use a 1m tube lens and get 5x higher magnification numbers to report similar to what we see with the paper microscope.
Is it possible to attach to a phone to take a picture?
Here is their website: http://www.foldscope.com/
Why would the initial test to 10,000 if it only costs $1. I would gladly pay $5 (if that includes shipping). If there is a version 2, I would gladly pay $5 to purchase that one also.
This reminds me of the Cartmanland commercial, "awesome new themepark, and you can't come!"
From the FAQ:
"Foldscope is not yet commercially available. Foldscope is a project out of Prakash Lab, a research group in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. We are working hard to make the microscopes commercially available via a spinoff/startup while keeping the mission and our goal aligned to the big vision from our viewpoint. More details of the same will be posted here at some point."
I am actually very surprised that people still get this excited over the same piece of news.
They are absolutely wonderful for factory inspections.
I have a few but my preferred model looks like this: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.80.ScwWS1&id=...
Desktop microscopes with HDMI out, 5" monitor, and 500x zoom can be picked up for about $80
Where exactly? I might want to check them out...
That said, if you're not set up with local bank account and mailing address one can find them in any electronics market.
SEG Plaza in Shenzhen or Modern Electronic City in Shanghai should have them for 20 kuai.
They usually come with an ultraviolet led for currency fraud detection - there are so many small stores and so many people in China that these are basically ubiquitous.
There is a trickle down effect on Amazon too: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3D... - see for instance the one available for $3.96 - I would splurge and get the square boxy one though.
Or 3D print it?
Not that the makers don't deserve the money!
 - http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1403/1403.1211.pdf
That links to an abstract page for the same paper you linked to rather than the full PDF, and it's a lot shorter to type (and less specific about format). This form often avoids accidentally linking to an outdated version of the file, too.
Its quite incredible.
Completely disregarding the years of effort poured into developing a paper lens, etc., you simply dump the innovation into the "not very clever" pile?
When I said "paper lens", I meant the idea of embedding the lens into the paper.
Throwing it away is optional (these foldscopes are quite durable).
I think your criticism can be applied to any consumer good, since all consumer goods eventually end up being thrown away.
This is a different concept, of a precision manufactured, very cheap, single use, very specific medical test microscope generally revolving around a projection display technology.
I'm not saying its not cool. It is cool and is a net gain to humanity etc. Its just probably not what you're thinking it is based on the short description.
I think a general purpose "print/fold at home" microscope for educational purposes would be interesting, along the lines of numerous successful cardboard photographic cameras, and maybe even useful. The linked article, although also cool, has nothing to do with that meme, and is almost the precise opposite other than common construction material.
Also this is an old story, even if newly reported. I remember watching the TED talk from the TED RSS feed during a blizzard some months ago. As per Colin's post this is the 12th time its been featured on HN.
Also, the article mentions projection capabilities, but as a non-standard modification.
That last one says US $0.11 / piece. It's hard to tell how well these would work as lenses though.
The reason this is not news is that good microscopes cost money. Saying "hey, I've achieved 2100x magnication!" is pretty meaningless. Anyone who's ever used a nice camera can instantly realize the difference in the photos you get with a $500 Canon lens compared to that disposable camera you bought for $5.
The pictures they've supplied are wonderfully blurry. Three cheers for poor light sources, spherical aberration and diffraction blur. If you're doing slides with results of great import, such as various health tests, you want an accurate image. We don't get to see any shots of optical calibration targets here, which would demonstrate just how poor the optics are. As a rule of thumb, anything over 1000x is usually poor and 1500x is considered the practical limit of optical microscopy (without some really expensive tricks like conjugate points and fluorescence which gets you a $100K+ kit).
So yeah for cheap microscopes!, but I had a $5 one as a kid. Nothing new here. Plus, training people to properly prepare the slides and interpret the images correctly is a far larger problem. I've watch Harvard and other labs haul away truck loads of old equipment to the dumps. Let's send that to anyone in the 3rd world that wants it, but not waste too much time doing what's already been done.
The cutout paper part seems to just hold the slide, and pane it in front of the lens.
You can see the size in the TED talk or on the website: http://www.foldscope.com/#/scienceeducation/
Honestly, I'm not sure how long the battery lasts. I've mostly worked with the versions that have no backlight (to use them, you hold them up to a lightbulb or to the sun).
" Is Foldscope an open hardware project? Do you have plans for the same?
We are currently exploring best possible ways to provide quality tools to largest number of people. We have two missions; one in healthcare and one in education. We are exploring all possible options to bring this tool to the masses and exploring licenses that allow us to do this in a sustainable manner. More information about this will be available here soon. "