Laboratory News recently ran a competition to win an ioLight portable microscope by identifying three laboratory quality images taken with our digitally connected iPhone pocket microscope. The images were published in three successive issues of the magazine and the competition winner was revealed last week. If you want to learn more about the microscope there is a great video describing it in our crowdfunding pitch here.
The only clues entrants were given were that they were all objects that you find around the house, and the field of view was 1 mm wide. It is amazingly difficult to identify even everyday objects when you look at them in microscopic detail. Even a seemingly boring piece of metal or plastic has amazing detail when you look at it with the high resolution microscope, and if you ever get to look at just a simple leaf, you will be really surprised at all the detail you are normally completely unaware of. Look at the images below, find a similar object around your house and then see if you can work out exactly which part of the object the picture is showing!
The first image was of an embossed number on a credit card:
The second image was a tea bag:
And the final image was not a space invaders game, but in fact was an LCD screen on a smart phone:
The winner was Adrian Rogers, who is already out and about using his field microscope! He is already posting images to social media direct from the iPhone that he uses with the microscope. We liked his tweet of a picture of a ‘lateral flow device’ taken with the microscope, which really shows off the 1 micron resolution. Pregnancy tests are the most common type of lateral flow device, but when we asked if congratulation were in order, Adrian said ‘shhhh that’s how rumours start’ and explained that it was a lateral flow device for food allergen detection!