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Assam University to promote Foldscope microscope across Barak Valley

 SILCHAR, Sept 5 - Enthused by the disposable microscope popularly known as ‘Foldscope’ or ‘paper microscope’ developed by former IIT Kanpur student Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bio-engineering at the Stanford University, faculty members of Assam University Silchar are all set to take the nifty device closer to the students and people in remote areas of Barak Valley.

 Prof Manabendra Dutta Choudhury, senior faculty in the Department of life Sciences told The Assam Tribune “the Foldscope is well and truly a Make in India initiative and Vigyan Bharati unit of Assam University has taken this step to reach out to the people in the vicinity to generate awareness. Following the proposal floated by the Department of Bio-Technology (DBT), we had applied and we were given 40 Foldscopes as a part of the project. Procuring a compound microscope involves a lot of money for schools and even colleges. But this new device with 140 magnification similar to that of a compound microscope costs just one dollar. Also, it is very easy to use and versatile enough to screen a variety of diseases on the field including malaria. Using Foldscope via an App, detection of malaria viruses will be easy after blood samples are taken from patients.”

Prof Dutta Choudhury, who is also the co-coordinator of Vigyan Bharati informed that in collaboration with faculty members from Sibpur Engineering College, West Bengal who developed the App, a camp will be held in September. “Along with experts from Sibpur Engineering College we will be going to Debdwar village near Sonbeel in Karimganj district on September 19 and take random blood samples from the people and identify whether the locals have any symptom of malaria. Once it is detected, particular samples will be put in the global map through the App and people can come to know the penetration level of the disease,” Prof Dutta Choudhury informed.

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