Paper Microscope Could “Save Millions” If Only Greedy Corporations Would Let It!
Yahoo News is running a story today from ABC News entitled “Super-Cheap Paper Microscope Could Save Millions of Lives,” under the blog category “This Could Be Big.” Naturally, gullible liberal commentators immediately hailed the invention as a stick in the eye of “greedy corporate fat cats” and hoped it wouldn’t be “stolen” and turned into a $1,000 per copy “rip off” of the masses.
The opening paragraph, obviously written for the low-information voter, hypes the paper microscope as a medical miracle that could spell the end of disease in developing countries.
Imagine if clinics in developing countries were equipped with an inexpensive yet durable tool that could help medical personnel identify and diagnose a variety of deadly diseases like Malaria, Chagas disease, or Leishmaniosis? For millions of people around the world waiting to be diagnosed and treated, such a tool could be a life-saver.
How inexpensive is “Foldscope?” Why, “between fifty-cents and a dollar per instrument!” Of course it is, because it’s a one-off item. Produce millions of them, with the attendant infrastructure like machinery, buildings, labor and shipping and watch the cost go up. For that matter, what about the optical components “the size of a grain of sand,” the watch battery, and LED used? I’m pretty sure the cost of each of those alone is more than the purported cost of the unit.
How durable is it? Why, it’s “assembled primarily from paper” and is therefore “virtually indestructible.” Even little kids in the lands of no food, no shoes and many, many diseases could “have access to the world of microscopy and one day every kid will have a Foldscope in their backpacks or tucked away in their pocket.” Yes, the PAPER microscope should really hold up in a backpack full of 3 lb. textbooks, lunchboxes, etc. or jammed in a kid’s pocket. The person making that statement is obviously not experienced with children, backpacks, or anything related thereto.
Predictably, liberals just went crazy in the comments section, both to hail the invention as the Second Coming (of someone they don’t believe in) and blast, apparently preemptively, the “greedy corporate fat cats” they swear will “steal” this dollar-per-unit wonder of a paper microscope. They are sure it will be perverted into a huge, globalist ripoff and (and I’m only slightly-exaggerating) some sort of weaponized something or other. The incredibly silly thing about it is the fact that the entire premise of the article is nonsense.
Clinics Already Have Microscopes.
“Clinics in developing countries” are already equipped with an “inexpensive, yet durable tool” called…wait for it…a microscope. This will come as a shock to many more-scientifically-educated-than-stupid-Republicans liberals, but entire microscope kits can be had for under $40. Granted, these are not lab-quality scopes, but then neither is the paper microscope wonder. By the way, this also solves the “scopes for kids” crisis, such as it is. Or you can go even cheaper:
But what about those clinics, who need real microscopes for diagnosing diseases? You decide, folks: Paper microscope, or this:
It costs a lot more, but it’s also actually capable of being used to diagnose diseases, which the paper microscope is not. In order to properly use a microscope for such things, you must have slides, oils, growth media, etc., none of which will work with the paper microscope. Plus, it’s made of even more “virtually indestructible” materials like metal and plastic. Paper, on the other hand, is highly vulnerable to distortion and destruction by this new thing called “humidity,” which I’m led to believe is somewhat common in undeveloped countries.
Labs in such countries can already afford a cheap, but decent microscope like the one shown above, as well as the supplies to utilize them. If they can’t, they’re busy fighting off more imminent threats to life than lack of paper microscopes.
Poor Kids Need Food More Than They Need Microscopes.
Kids in countries as poor as the premise depicts would much rather have things like daily vitamins, food, shoes and maybe a lack of machete-wielding, genocidal tribesman than a paper microscope that (a), they would have no real use for, and (b) is more likely to be used to light cooking fires than as a scientific tool…assuming it doesn’t dissolve one week into the monsoon season. And if it’s that big of a deal, send them a $10 field scope from Amazon…also, by the way, made of more “virtually indestructible” material than paper.
The Paper Microscope, An Answer To A Question Nobody Asked.
The paper microscope, while certainly an innovative item, is by no means a world-altering device.
The paper microscope is more a novelty than anything else. But forget the facts. According to liberals, it’s all a plot by the Koch-Haliburton-Monsanto corporate supervillains to deprive Third World children of microscopes and cookies while hopefully killing them with malaria and AIDS.