Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World

This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Technology News: cell phone as microscope

Scientists converted a cell phone into a cheap microscope and used it to find intestinal parasites.

"You need [a] ball lens* to help with the magnification - but any mobile phone with a decent camera and a zoom function will be sufficient.

"When the results were double-checked with a laboratory light microscope, the device had managed to pick up 70% of the samples with infections present - and 90% of the heavier infections.

"Intestinal worms are estimated to affect up to two billion people around the world, mainly in poor areas. These parasitic infections cause malnutrition, stunted growth, and stunted mental development.

"It's a big deal, a big problem."


Remote villages in Lesotho could benefit from this technology. The question is, how hard is it to train someone to collect the samples, prepare the slides, and read the results?

* cost of ball lens ~$12