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The inventor of the origami microscope is a MacArthur genius

By Hannah Yi
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Foldscope is an origami microscope made with a single sheet of paper that’s embedded with electronics and lenses. It costs less than $1 to build. Manu Prakash is the inventor of this low-cost scientific tool. He wants microscopes to be as ubiquitous as pencils and plans on shipping one million Foldscopes by the end of 2017.

It’s his work in what he calls, “frugal science” that won him a coveted spot as a 2016 MacArthur ‘genius’ fellow. Over the next five years, he will receive $625,000 to continue inventing low-cost scientific tools that can be available to anyone. The video above shows some other inventions the physical biologist has created using simple tools.

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