What do you get when you combine an Android smartphone, cell phone image sensor, Lego building blocks, and a handful of Caltech engineers and biologists? The ePetri, which isn't Petri Dish 2.0, but a full reworking of a technology that dates back to the late 1800s.
Traditionally, the Petri dish (named after German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri) has been used in the medical field to identify bacterial infections by studying samples via microscope as the cultured cells grow in an incubator.
The Caltech researchers have a few choice words for such an approach in 2011, including "expensive," "labor-intensive," and "suboptimal." So they set out to improve not just the dish, but the entire process.… Read more