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iPhone converted into microscope

14th March 2013

A study has been published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene revealing how scientists used an iPhone 4S to diagnose intestinal worm infections in schoolchildren in rural Tanzania.

They attached an $8 (£5) ball lens to the handset camera lens and used a cheap torch and double-sided tape to create an improvised microscope. Stool samples placed on lab slides were photographed and studied for evidence of eggs, the main sign of the presence of the parasites. Results double-checked with a laboratory light microscope showed the device picked up 70% of the samples with infections present and 90% of the heavier infections.

 

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