by: Belinda Lanks

When diagnosing people in the developing world, health workers often go into the field lugging bulky, fragile, and expensive microscopes. “We ship research equipment and hope it’ll survive,” says Manu Prakash, a biophysicist. While traveling in Thailand, the scientist dreamt up a lightweight, low-cost alternative: a pocket-sized paper microscope made from a single sheet of folded paper, a pair of lenses, and an LED. Approximate cost: $1.

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