By: Tisha Sharma, Class VII, Neerja Modi School, Jaipur
Manu Prakash, an Indian-American biologist at Stanford University (USA), has bedazzled the world with creative, low cost invention- The Foldscope. Prakash won prestigious MacArthur Foundation Grant, popularly known as the ‘genius grants’, in 2016.
The foldable paper microscope, tremendously cheap at only $1 (less than Rs. 80), has modified scientific research in many of the world’s poorer regions The Foldoscope can be created by simple paper folding, that is origami! It has glass beads that work as lenses, embedded into the paper. This contraption has been circulated to more than 135 countries, with millions of people living in poor and rural areas being able to enjoy the wonders of science.
“My work is driven by pure curiosity and while I delve in my own scientific inquiries, I also try to build and design tools that are affordable for people around the world to engage and experience the joy of science first hand “. - Manu Prakash
Prakash was born in Meerut in India and he completed his undergraduate degree, B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering, from IIT Kanpur. He then went to MIT, USA for his M.S. and PhD.
The Foldoscope is being used for several scientific inquiries. Studying diseases in bees, detecting cervical cancer, mapping biodiversity of microorganisms and teaching hygiene and sanitation are just some of its current applications around the world.
You can see some awesome images and videos that people have taken around the world using the Foldoscope: https://www.foldscope.com/galleries