General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

What role does the microscope play in the home?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10277points) February 11th, 2010

Should one be examining one’s family’s stool? Should one be checking for microorganisms in one’s environment, water supply, etc.

What, if any, function would a microscope play in a modern home. Is the microscope the next dishwasher?

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22 Answers

mirifique's avatar

Looking at awesome bugs.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Give it to your children to play Science.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It’s great to be under one during an arguement :)

DominicX's avatar

None, unless you’re a huge nerd.

Berserker's avatar

You can examine all the poop and dishwater you like, but to get anything conclusive out of the examination I suppose you’d have to know what to look for, and how to spot anomalies which may be a significant threat to hygiene or whatever.
I’ve looked up plenty of stuff in microscopes before, and it’s all interesting but I really didn’t know what I was looking at.

I don’t know if it has any specific purpose in the home unless you’re a scientist or something, but if anything it’s great for trip factor.

phoebusg's avatar

I’d love a microscope. Knowledge comes with experience, or training. But it’s definitely good to have access to it at home. Rather than have to line up in over-crowded labs where you feel pressured to move out of the way.

erichw1504's avatar

If the microscope can clean up after dinner and do laundry for me then it will be “the next dishwasher” in my home.

Snarp's avatar

Tool to get kids interested in science. Amusing past time. That’s about it unless you are a microbiologist with a lab in the basement.

gemiwing's avatar

Use it to see if anything is living in your water. Gather samples from suspect foods and look for mold. Take pictures of what you see as a hobby.

Who needs a reason? It’s just fun.

MissAusten's avatar

I had a microscope as a kid, and used it often. I’d look at hairs, bugs, scabs, feathers, and pretty much anything else I could think of. For a long time I kept waiting for someone to injure themselves and bleed so I could look at the blood under my microscope, but no such luck. Later I found out that it wouldn’t have done me any good, my microscope being too weak to see blood cells. The microscope set I had came with several prepared slides, and my parents also bought me an additional set of prepared slides. It also came with specimen vials, one containing a large bee and the other a big tadpole. Yes, a scalpel was included for dissecting. Oh, the memories!

When I was in middle school we moved out to the country and had a big pond. I loved looking at the pond water under the microscope to see tiny creatures living in the water. Also tadpole eggs and fish scales. The microscope was one of those things that I’d use heavily for weeks at a time, ignore for a year or so, and then drag back out.

I’ve been trying to find a decent microscope set for my own kids, but the one we have is total crap. My goal is to find a good one by summer. It would go great with the “Disgusting Science” kit my daughter has, which came with petri dishes and stuff to grow your own bacteria. Maybe we’re nerds, but we have fun! So there!

TexasDude's avatar

I diagnosed my cat’s kidney stones with a microscope once. The vets just thought he was constipated. Wrong.

MissAusten's avatar

@gemiwing I’ll keep that site in mind. There are other sites that sell student microscopes, and a decent one for using at home runs around $200. I saw one on a homeschooling site that’s a little less and had excellent reviews. Time to start saving my pennies!

CMaz's avatar

I have an antique one on display.

It is cool… And all the above.

Trillian's avatar

When my oldest daughter was seven, her goldfish died. I brought her a couple scalpels and some pins from work and let her have at it. She wouldn’t have made a good vivisectionist, so we never got slices that would work well on a slide….

MissAusten's avatar

Oh, I totally hope our goldfish survives until I save enough for a good microscope!

Ltryptophan's avatar

@missausten i suggest cryogenic goldfish flesh reanimation

MissAusten's avatar

This may cross a fine line between science and childhood trauma.

Bugabear's avatar

I bought one when I was young. Biggest waste of money ever. And it was a nice German one, not the cheap plastic ones. After a while the novltey wears off, eveything begins to look the same underneath it and anything that’s alive keeps moving around making it impossible to see.

thriftymaid's avatar

None in my home. I do use a magnifying glass a lot.

NMicroscope's avatar

A simple microscope has one lens and is essentially a loupe or magnifying glass with a relatively high magnification.

The basic modern microscope found in schools, hospitals, and research centers is a compound microscope which has a series of lenses to collect and focus the light transmitted through the specimen.

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