Workshop on Foldscope held at GITAM Institute of Science

THE HANS INDIA |   Dec 10,2018 , 05:03 AM IST

GITAM University Institute of Science Principal Prof K Arunalakshmi is explaining about the features of the Foldscope in Visakhapatnam on Sunday
Visakhapatnam: GITAM University Institute of Science Principal Prof K Arunalakshmi said that undergraduate students in all parts of the country would soon be able to take a peek at the world of microscopic organisms with a microscope that they can take anywhere, following an initiative by the Department of Biotechnology to reach a PrakashLab’s low cost paper folding-microscope. She inaugurated the workshop on “Foldscope-Its Application in Cancer” at GITAM Institute of Science here on Sunday. While addressing the students and faculty, she said that the origami paper microscope costing 50 cents developed by Stanford University based Prakash Lab, popularly called ‘Foldscope’ can be used as an educational and training tool to help students understand physics, chemistry, biology and instrumentation and to excite them in the subjects.

While briefing about the ‘Foldscope’ Arunalakshmi said that the Foldscope, a cheaper alternative to microscope besides being waterproof comes with a 2000x magnification lens with one sub-micron resolution which enables he visualisation of the tinest organisms like bacteria. The Foldscopes which can be used to test water samples to detect infectious agents and also diagnose some common disorders can also be fitted with LED light source for better resolution, she added. She hoped that the fast gaining popularity this innovation is likely to prove to be of much help in scientific training and research in the coming years, she explained.

The workshop Convener K Vijaya Rachel informed that Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India has sanctioned a project to GITAM Institute of Science to screen less privileged tribal women for Cervical Cancer. The institute has conducted the tests (pap smear test) in Visakhapatnam agency mandals particularly Mumbriguda, Hukumpet and ananthagiri using foldscope to identify the cervical cancer among tribal women so far, Vijaya Rachel said.

Assam Downtown University DBT Foldscope Project Principal Investigator Jyotchna Gogoi briefed about how to use the ‘Foldscope’ to detect the plant diseases. Head, GITAM Institute of Science Biochemistry Department Prof M Rama Rao briefed about the cancer research activities and informed that the department is actively engaged with several research activities in bioinformatics and biochemistry.

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