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Sci-Tech

Roses are red, condoms are blue... if you have syphilis

The S.T.EYE condom can not only help couples practice safe sex but it can also change colors to show the presence of an STD. And it came from the minds of three inventive teenagers.

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A new condom created by three teenagers in the UK helps couples test for STDs in their own home by changing colors. What's next? The mood condom? TeenTech Awards

Sex can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be pretty awkward. All it takes is one person calling out an ex's name in the heat of passion or a bed creak that sounds like a bodily emission to turn a magical expression of love into a long moment of uneasy eye contact.

There's also the looming specter of sexually transmitted diseases floating around that can make just discussing sex even more awkward than it already can be -- whether you're talking about it with your partner or your doctor.

Three UK teens may have found a way to help couples test for STDs in the privacy of their own home. They've invented a condom called the S.T.EYE that changes color when it comes into contact with the pathogens that cause certain sexually transmitted infections.

The condom -- created by 14-year-old Daanyaal Ali, 13-year-old Muaz Nawaz and 14-year-old Chirag Shah from the Issac Newton Academy in London -- won top honors in the health care category last Tuesday at the TeenTech Awards, a UK-based competition designed to increase teenagers' interest in careers in science, medicine and technology.

The molecules in the condom respond to the bacteria present in an infection and change color to indicate the presence of a given STD -- green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes and blue for syphilis. In a statement from TeenTech, Ali said the trio wanted to make a condom that would make "detecting harmful [STDs] safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors. We've made sure we're able to give peace of mind to users and let people act even more responsibly than ever before."

The design is still in the conceptual stage, but the teens have already reportedly been approached by a condom manufacturer about improving their invention and possibly turning it into something headed to a drug store near you.

This isn't the first we've seen of color-coded personal products. Last year, a nail polish company unveiled a product that could test for the presence of date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB in drinks. Undercover Colors announced it was working on its color-changing nail polish and as of June 8, its products are still in development, according to the company's Facebook page.

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The three creators of the S.T.EYE condom explain how their invention works. TeenTech Awards

(Via ScienceAlert)