Picture a laboratory and many of us get the same image: a set of benchtops crowded with equipment from thermocyclers to hot plates. Dominating the scene is the king of the lab, a large microscope with a bulky stage, illuminator, and perhaps even a computer or digital camera attachment. We’ve all seen – probably even worked in – laboratories just like this. But this kind of setup doesn’t work for everyone, especially pathologists who are “on the road” teaching, training, or working in remote field environments. Those pathologists need an entirely different kind of microscope – but unfortunately, their options to date have not been great. Portable microscopes usually mean a compromise on image quality, whereas the instruments that could provide the detail and resolution needed for definitive diagnosis are too large, sensitive, and resource-intensive for field use. It’s clear that we need a better solution – and that’s where I hope our new take on field microscopy comes in.
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