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Creating small wonders

Cell biologist and inventor Gary Greenberg’s career took a turn about 10 years ago when his brother sent him a canister of beach sand. Greenberg placed a pinch under a light microscope. Magnified hundreds of times, the colorful, intricate sand grains resembled beads from a necklace.

“I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe that was what sand looked like,” he says. “I got hooked on the idea that there was this entire world people didn’t know existed.”

He started photographing the magnified sand, as well as flowers, fruit, wine, clothes, paper — whatever he could stick under a microscope. His photos have been displayed in museums and have formed the basis of four books.

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