This nail polish may detect date-rape drugs

Undercover Colors nail polish changes color when in contact with Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB so you know when to drink or dump a beverage.

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Undercover Colors wants to prevent sexual assaults with the help of science and fashion. Undercover Colors/Instagram

Considering how many of us often leave our drinks unattended at a bar, it's easy for a stranger or date to slip something into our drinks -- such as Rohypnol, which looks like aspirin and dissolves quickly in liquid, or GHB, which is a clear, odorless liquid. These date-rape drugs render the victim with diminished capacity, which in turn could facilitate a sexual assault.

A new nail polish line called Undercover Colors hopes to be the "first fashion company empowering women to prevent sexual assault."

The inventive nail polish changes color when it comes in contact with liquid laced with such date-rape drugs as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. The wearer of the nail polish simply puts her finger in a drink. If the color of nail polish changes, she knows to dump the cocktail and of course, report the date.

"Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime," Undercover Colors states on its Facebook page. "With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger. If her nail polish changes color, she'll know that something is wrong."

While the nail polish is still in the early, experimental stages, the team of North Carolina State University students who created Undercover Colors have already raised $100,000 for product development and are still searching for additional investors. Earlier this year, Undercover Colors won the Lulu eGames student competition, sponsored by North Carolina State's Entrepreneurship Initiative.

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Undercover Colors is not yet for sale and is still being tested. Undercover Colors/Facebook

"We'd love to take Undercover Colors to the next level and take our product to market," Undercover Colors team member Ankesh Madan told Higher Education Works. "Near-term, we're focusing on technical development and market testing. We plan to focus on business development and refining our prototype before going to production."

While other date-rape drug detectors already exist in the form of coasters, cups and straws -- this is the first which integrates fashion with safety in the form of nail polish.

"Right now we're in an early phase of research and development, and haven't yet launched our product," Undercover Colors stated on its Instagram page. "Continue to follow us on social media for our latest updates."

 

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