Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Foldscope Microscope Innovation


Stanford University Graduate students under the direction of Manu Prakash helped develop a foldable microscope for use in disease diagnostic work in third world countries.  The material cost for the microscope is 50 cents US. 

Update: I have provided some images taken with the foldscope microscope attached to a cellphone camera.

Different microscopes can be designed for different disease identification.  The scopes work using a standard microscope slide.   In addition to third world applications this could also be used for field identification of fungal organisms during mold investigations.  I would like to determine if the optic quality is good enough to do quick read of an Air-o-Cell cassette slide.

The microscope folds together like origami.


They are field testing 10,000 of theses microscopes around the world. You can sign up here to be part of the foldscope field test. 

This pdf document on the foldscope microscope provides the technical information.

Manu Prakash Ted talk - Foldscope Applications - 9 minutes

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pondering a solar power installation in Minnesota.

2.0 Megawatt Solar Array west of Slayton, MN

I am considering installing a solar panel in my backyard.  It won't be as large as the 7.5 football field array in Slayton, MN.  This is a link to the Fickr slide show of the Solar array in Slayton, MN

Doing the calculations a square foot of  standard efficiency solar PV yields between 10 and 13 Watts/hr in the proper location

The cost for installation in the US is roughly $5 per watt.  I'm looking at about a 1kW installation with an upfront cost of about $5k.  Minnesota has some tax credits available. So the final out of pocket cost would be less.

Feel free to relay your experience with a PV solar installation in the comment section below.  I'd be interested in your experiences.

MN Solar Resources







Sunday, March 2, 2014

Biological Control of Zebra Mussels


MN Dept. of Agriculture has released guidelines for using Psuedomonas fluorescens strain CL145A to control zebra and quagga mussels as part of a one year trial permit.

The irradiated bacterial strain under the product name Zequanox appears to have no effect on native mussels and fish populations in concentrations at 100 ppm at the application point and 1ppm downstream.

Company video on Zequanox - less than 2 min.

Zebra Mussels background information - 5 minutes