For the tune of ten dollars, you can turn your mobile phone into a microscope. Researchers at the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA have developed a method for transforming a normal cell phone into something capable of diagnosing diseases. Using a patchwork of off the shelf hardware and their own software, they developed an electronic magnification system which serves as a substitute to traditional optics; shining light-emitting diodes over the camera lens, producing an interference pattern which can then be processed mathematically, therein eliminating the need for the lens.
This is innovation is exciting for field biologists working beyond their lab, doctors working away from a hospital and many more. It's cheap. It's small. It’s compact. It's versatile. It's mobile. Read about the invention in the New York Times. Check out, Microskia, the company that plans to develop the technology here.