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This 50-Cent Paper Microscope Could Help Save Children from Malaria

BY RELEVANT CURRENT / GLOBAL April 07, 2014

The spread of malaria is one of the most significant threats to people—particularly children—in the developing world. Manu Prakash, a Stanford University assistant professor and bioengineer, understood that the ability to properly diagnose the illness with the use of lab-quality imaging equipment is key in distributing the proper treatment and preventing deaths from the disease. With the goal of testing a million people a year, Prakash and his team created the ingenious “Foldscope,” a microscope that’s made almost entirely from folded paper, that costs just 50 cents apiece to make. Because they require no power source and no mechanical elements, the Foldscopes are also incredibly durable. As Prakash explains in this video from Stanford, “One of the things that’s been shown over and over again is, if you put in an infrastructure to fight malaria that’s scalable and sustainable, than you get retraction of malaria in different regions.” Prakash believes that this brilliant new tool could provide just that …

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