I am always amazed at how imaginative people can be. The TED.com blog is full of stories and videos of interesting people with amazing things to say; and so are universities. You will find a number of entries on my blog site that are based on something amazing that has been developed for the third world by the folks at MIT. This entry is about an idea originating at Stanford University. I came across it in an article by CBC.CA (Foldscope paper microscope can diagnose malaria, costs 50 cents – Technology & Science – CBC News) that explains how Professor Manu Prakash came to create a microscope made almost entirely out of cardboard that can be used to diagnose a multitude of diseases like sleeping sickness, malaria and schistosomiasis in the developing world where access to laboratory equipment is extremely limited.
Imagine if everyone that contracts one of these debilitating illnesses could be quickly diagnosed and treated! This is the type of story that I love to see because it opens up the mind to all sorts of opportunities.
The original CBC story describes the microscope better than I can, so I won’t go into the details here, but I do also want to post the direct link to Dr. Prakash’s TED talk so that you can see him and his invention. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.