Friday, September 22, 2017

A Device that turns a smartphone into a Molecular Microscope

Everyone knows how time-consuming, expensive, and difficult the lab testing process is not only for the patients but also for the physicians. First, they have to take patient's samples, then send it to an independent lab, after that wait for the results to come back. Moreover; if it is for diseases like tuberculosis and cancer the course of treatment depends on the DNA of the disease, and that process is even more lengthy and expensive as they have to look for gene mutations. According to an article on popular science, with the help of a new device one can cut directly to the chase. This device can be connected to a normal smartphone and can help discover mutations in cells' DNA and can help save time and resources. 
This device has a 3D-printed exterior, which contains two lasers, a white LED, and a lens. It also has a filter that turns a smartphone’s camera into a molecular microscope. To use this phone based microscope, the scientists first take a patient’s sample and treat it with chemicals. This results in the attachment of fluorescent molecules to a specific gene mutation. The device then analyzed the sample. If the device is able to detect those glowing tags, then it is certain that the cell’s DNA contains a mutation. The article also mentioned that this device could be bought for about $500 dollars. This is an awesome device and the price is not that high considering the price of a regular microscope. I think this device will be a lifesaver, in this case, a time saver for many physicians.


  1. I find it to be extremely fascinating that we are able to do so many things with our smartphones. Everything is faster, more convenient, and smartphones can now help us with our health. Plus, since Genetics is a growing field, with devices like these we can make our genetic health more accessible, and they will be able to tell us our genetic health information and possible genetic mutations in a fraction of the time compared to sending a blood sample to a lab. I personally feel that with the help of these kinds of technologies, it can help us a lot quicker in the long run. We can take action faster. There is no long wait, and we can do the things we need to do to help our bodies a lot faster. With that being said, these kinds of devices will get the results we need to know faster as well, so we will not have to stress more while waiting for our results, and if need be, we can do lifestyle changes faster in order to improve our health.

  2. In today's day and age technology makes it super easy and quick to gain information. With the time and money saved on buying this device, physicians will have quick results for their patients (which is a great thing!). If a patient is notified that he/she has a mutation, this could be helpful with the prevention of tumors and cancer. It is crazy to think of how far technology has come through the generations of science. Being technologically advanced will benefit us all in the long run health wise.

  3. It enlightens me that technology is being put to good use. The advancement of technology is so important, and this article reinforces that. The fact that a smartphone is able to discover mutations in a person's DNA faster and more efficiently than regular testing makes a great asset in the field of genetics. It's also convenient that the prices is not as high as regular testing. It makes the better choice when trying to determine if a cell’s DNA contains a mutation.