The ponds at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are teeming with microbial life. Those microbes live out dramatic lives that we never get to see. I visit the Gardens regularly and they kindly allow me to write about what I find on their blog. Come read the latest here:
I made a short documentary all about the unusual biology of Lichen. It's part of an anthology film called MOSAIC, commissioned by Imagine Science Films and Labocine. MOSAIC will premiere at the 10th Imagine Science Festival in New York City on October 13th.
Written/Directed/Narrated by Sally Warring - Music/Animation by Ramin Rhani - Cinematography by Joshua Kristal and Sally Warring - Location Sound by Jon Flores - Post Production by Brett Harding.
Come along to the opening of the Festival to see the film!
Do you have a smartphone or tablet? Would you like to turn it into a microscope? The uHandy Mobile Microscope is a fantastic tool to allow you to do just that. It's a single lens microscope with a built-in light source, cover glass and neat little stickers that work as slides. The lens is built into an adapter that will fit over smartphone or tablet to position the lens in front of your device's camera. Then open your camera app and enjoy. It's great for kids and adults. All you need is your phone or tablet and the microcosmos is yours to explore! Purchase here.
iPhones take great pictures. This adapter makes it super easy to take images and make videos with your iPhone through your microscope. You can even use your iPhone to live project/stream your view. The iDu adapter fits iPhone6/6s. It's fitted with a 10x magnifying lens and comes with two adapters to fit a 30 mm or 23 mm eyepiece slot (it should fit all Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss, Leica and other common brand microscopes). Compatible with any compound, dissection, or fluorescent microscope. Simply remove the microscope eyepiece and insert the iDu. Easy as pie. Available here.
Many of my followers on Instagram have asked if I could recommend an affordable entry-level microscope, so I went looking for one to try out. I now have in my possession the rather remarkable Portable Field Microscope by Newton Microscpes. I think this microscope is fantastic. It's a completely self-contained portable unit. The model I'm using has a 10x and a 40x objective, a 10x monocular eyepiece, an XY imaging stage and built-in LED illumination. You can mount it on a tripod, and you can get adapters to attach an iPhone, an android phone or a digital camera (I'm using mine with an iPhone 6s). It's battery operated, but it plugs in too. It's set up as an inverted scope and I'm using the cavity slide that Newton Microscopes designed specifically for use in imaging fluids, pond water in my case.
This microscope is high quality, but most importantly it's really really fun to use. The fact that you can take and use it anywhere is amazing.
You can check out the microscopes at www.newtonmicroscopes.com
And here is a short video showing the Newton in action: