It is inspired by a child’s toy but it could potentially revolutionise an aspect of healthcare. Stanford University professor Manu Prakash’s Paperfuge, which can go at 125,000 revolutions per minute, can separate plasma from whole blood in 1.5 minutes to diagnose malaria. The best thing about it? It costs less than 20 cents and can work without electricity, unlike its more costlier counterparts.
Prakash, an American scientist who grew up in India, described his creation in a paper published in Nature. The Stanford University professor had previously developed the Foldscope, an origami-inspired microscope which could be used to look at microorganisms. Both these devices expound on the scientist’s “frugal philosophy”, which seeks to create powerful equipment that is affordable and easy to use.
“This was an interactive effort between math and physics and experiments – which led to the final parameters that allow us to spin this simple tool all the way to 120,000 rpm,” Prakash toldInverse.
Here’s Prakash explaining the Foldscope in a Ted Talk.
As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.
From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.
And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.
The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.
In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.
It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.
As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.
To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.