As the frontrunner of "frugal science," Foldscope is working to bring scientific curiosity to the masses

Despite its cardboard appearance, Foldscope is not merely a toy. By leveraging micro-optics and the precision of origami to align them, Foldscope matches the performance of many conventional microscopes. In fact, its magnification and resolution can show cellular organelles, embryos or swimming bacteria.

“People are inherently curious and the Foldscope allows users to engage in questions driven by personal and local context. For example, farmers in India have used the Foldscope to identify microscopic eggs of pests that infest agricultural fields,” said Dr. Prakash, a recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant who grew up in rural area of India that lacked access to expensive scientific equipment.

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