High-Mag Microscope Lets Mobile Phones Go In Close

If you can't bring the microbial parasite to the lab, bring the lab to the microbial parasite, goes the thinking of the Berkeley researchers who invented a microscope to attach to mobile phones and smartphones, using the phones' own cameras. The higher powered of their two microscopes delivers 60X magnification, capable of capturing the detail of cancerous cells, malaria parasites and other buggers. There are clear healthcare benefits here—doctors making housecalls in remote areas can transmit images to their laptops via Bluetooth or, presumably, a lab for analysis. Surprisingly, the LED-self-illuminating module cost just US$75 to build with off-the-shelf parts, and will likely go to manufacturing after tests in Uganda this summer. [Technology Review]

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