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06. 17. 2008

Cellscope cell phone microscope


This cell phone microscope could be a real nuisance in the hands of a true germaphobe like Mia, who would likely use it to examine every item on a restaurant table, her dog's paw pads, and your hair follicles if you happen to be sitting next to her.

It's basically a cheap attachment that turns the digital camera in a cell phone into a microscope capable of individual white and red blood cells. Though at first glance, it may appear to be a mere novelty device like so many other silly attachments you can buy for your mobile, the CellScope was actually developed by a research team led by Dan Fletcher, professor of bioengineering, at the University of California, Berkeley. The team came up with this ingenious device in answer to a challenge: to solve the problem of the scarcity of medical equipment in developing countries for diagnosing and treating diseases. The attachment can be used for remote diagnosis of diseases such as malaria.

The team believes that if mass produced, the device could be sold for around $100, an incredible price for a clinical quality microscope that can send diagnostic data all over the world.

Core77 and Smart Stuff (original source: The Economist).
(Photo from website Blum Center for Developing Economies - credit: David Breslauer, Wilbur Lam, and Tom Hunt)

Posted by lydia    Category: body | cell phones | current affairs
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