The QX5 Microscope, by Digital Blue

The QX5 is an easy-to-use bot powerful digital microscope which even scientists and doctors can appreciate

By JC

Interesting read in the Wall Street Journal about Digital Blue’s QX5 Digital Microscope (which WSJ mistakenly call the RX5). It’s got some nifty PC stuff… you hook it up to your computer via USB and it’s treated like a webcam… you can record video and email images and so on, all from an easy-to-use interface. While marketed as a science toy for kids, it’s actually a pretty powerful microscope, and it’s drawing interest from scientists and medical professionals, in part because of ease of use, and in part because it uses a plastic lens, which can be used with some things that would etch glass ones (of course, the reverse is also true).

Andrew Westphal, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Berkeley, says he was recently able to examine some microscopic dust from outer space with the help of the RX5’s plastic lens. That is because a conventional microscope’s glass lens would have suffered from the hydrofluoric acid used to separate the particles from other elements. “Had it not been for the toy, we would have been at a loss,” he says.

They look like a lot of fun… I may have to pick one up on Amazon, just for kicks. The official product page is here.

via boingboing

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