Cheap microscope undermines Groucho Marx quip

One of my favorite Groucho Marx one-liners … well, actually it’s a two-liner … is

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

I’m not certain why anyone would want to read inside of a dog, but this article title from MIT’s Technology Review caught my eye: “Fingertip Microscope Can Peek Inside a Moving Animal.”

It seems that a team working on a neuroscience  project at Standford University has developed a tiny and inexpensive fluorescent microscope.  The microscopes are mounted on the heads of rodents and other lab animals to examine the activities of brain cells as they go about their activities.  I saw nothing in the article about reading inside of a dog, but I’m sure that feature is forthcoming.

The low price of this device   was made possible by the falling price of miniature electronic components driven by the popularity of consumer electronics devices such as cell phones.

See, the millions of cell phone photos of young drunken bar and night club denizens festooning Facebook is serving a useful scientific purpose.  I wonder if they’d be willing to have microscopes mounted on their heads while they party?


About Larry Felton Johnson

I'm the World's Oldest Journalism Undergraduate. I'm also a retired software systems engineer, and the publisher and editor of River Edges
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