All you need is a steady hand…

The lab course I am teaching at Coker College does not have access to the newest and fanciest equipment for microscopy imaging (nor should it*). If your drawing skills are not up to snuff, however, a smartphone camera, a steady hand, and a bit of patience can provide a useful substitute for standard light microscopy.

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Stained bacteria photographed with an iPhone 5

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A work of staggering genius

Ben Young Landis has done the smartest thing I’ve seen all day – adding a smartphone camera friendly abstract panel to a comprehensive poster design, in order to make it easy to capture the poster’s soul.

by Ben Young Landis
by Ben Young Landis (Used with Permission)

For many of us, working a research conference using smartphones has become second-nature…It was the poster aspect that had me thinking for a while. How can we make a better poster layout that will be more friendly to smartphone users…and…will stand out from the crowd?

You can see the beginnings of my experiment with this design I created for Kevin Lafferty, a P.I. with the U.S. Geological Survey and UC Santa Barbara. A key innovation is the “Project Snapshot” — this is actually where I’ve tucked all the technical language, the citation, the coauthors, the email addresses, and all the “usual” poster elements. Essentially, I’ve written up your notes for you in this 9×12 inch space, and the camera icon is a reminder that you literally can just take a snapshot of this box, and not have to write all this down. – Ben Young Landis

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