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    50-Cent Paper Microscope Can Diagnose Malaria

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers have developed a cheap paper microscope called Foldscope, that is capable of being used to diagnose illnesses in poor countries.

    Researchers have developed a cheap paper microscope called Foldscope, that is capable of being used to diagnose illnesses in poor countries.

    Created by Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, the microscope costs the equivalent of around 50 cents and can detect diseases like malaria and African sleeping sickness.

    Statistics from the World Health Organization say that there were around 219 million malaria cases in 2010 and 660 thousand of them were fatal to the people who contracted the disease.

    Microscopes used to diagnose patients can be heavy and expensive, and this prevents them from being used in the field.

    The lens of the Foldscope is just a small spherical bead that is already in the paper, and can magnify things up to 2 thousand times.

    The cardboard is sturdy and can still be used after being stepped on, dropped from a tall building, or soaked in water, and the Foldscope can also be used to project images on any surface.

    Prakash will be able to field test his invention in India thanks to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the amount of 100 thousand dollars, and he will be giving away 10 thousand of the Foldscopes to aspiring scientists who have the best ideas as part of the Ten Thousand Microscopes project.