Manu Prakash and his team have come up with an origami microscope that costs less than 50 cents to make. The invention is important, because it'll make microscopes extremely affordable in places that don't have much resources.

The outlines of the parts are printed on a legal-size sheet of cardboard and the pieces are cut and folded according to the color coding. There's light coming from an LED, and the watch battery will last 50 hours. You can basically assemble this within minutes.

The invention is important because it will be able to detect microscopic organisms that cause diseases like malaria and giardiasis with positive identification guiding treatment.

[arXiv via Wired]