The Eden Project uses the ioLight microscope to investigate plant disease
Launched in 2016, the ioLight microscope is the first professional quality pocket digital microscope. It fits in a jacket pocket, is simple to use and robust. It unfolds quickly to record and share 5MP still images and real time HD video at a magnification of x200 on an iPad Air.
Based in Cornwall, England, the Eden Project is an educational charity that is nestled in a huge crater which was formerly a china clay pit. It includes two massive Biomes – the larger one housing the largest rainforest in captivity, the other showcasing areas of the world that have a Mediterranean climate. Both the covered biomes and the outdoor area contain stunning plants and exhibitions.
The Eden Project trialled the ioLight microscope for a number of months, mainly looking at plant disease and soil samples but also for public demonstrations, before making their decision to purchase.
Chris Bisson, Policy Development Manager at the Eden Project, says “Here at the Eden Project we have used the ioLight Digital Microscope for a wide range of activities, from investigating plant diseases to
demonstrating the microscopic world of pond water to school children. It’s really easy to use and has been brilliant for enthusing both children and adults in the microscopic world around us.”
The resolution of the ioLight microscope is 1 micron, that’s 1/1,000 mm – powerful enough to see the structure of plant and animal cells. The product uses standard microscope slides and features adjustable top and bottom illumination for use on both biological and opaque samples. It is particularly good for live samples, which deteriorate on the journey back to the lab, and it works anywhere, even without a WiFi or mobile phone network. at what can one of the most stressful times for animal owners.
Rachel Warmington, Plant Pathologist at Eden, has been using the microscope in her study of Panama disease, a disease that has no chemical control and threatens to destroy the world’s supply of bananas.
The portability of the ioLight microscope has been particularly useful as it is imperative that no pathogens are allowed entry into the Biomes.
In addition, Rachel has been looking at the powdery mildew Erysiphe graminis synonym Blumeria graminis which has ascospores of 20-24 microns x 10-14 microns. “Having a personal microscope has proved extremely useful and is a great way to capture images.”
Last year, more than 47,000 school children visited Eden, and with an increase expected this year the microscope is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience science up close. It is perfect for field trips: students and teachers can carry portable microscopes in their bags and connect them to personal tablets or phones.
Just as the compact digital camera made photography available to anyone, the ioLight microscope is always available to look at pond water, plant cells and anything else that comes to hand.