For a whole lot of people, especially those in developing countries, science – and with it, medicine – isn’t readily available to the majority of citizens. But Manu Prakash wants to change that.
Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, is the proprietor of “frugal science,” a term he coined to explain the movement toward building cheap versions of high tech tools. His endeavor aims to make medical devices both affordable and available to the masses.
The way Prakash sees it, labs don’t need the most expensive equipment out there in order to reach profound breakthroughs. “Today people look at these extraordinary labs and forget that in the 1800s they could still do the exact same science,” he told The New York Times.
So in 2014 he created a paper microscope, aptly named the Foldscope, that costs only 50 cents to produce.