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Students Invent Nail Polish That Can Detect Date Rape Drugs

Nail Polish Detects Drugs

Four North Carolina State University undergrads are in the works of developing a nail polish that will detect drugs used in date rape.

The nail polish is named Undercover Colors and will change color when it comes in contact with GHB, Xanax and Rohypnol, the drugs used by perpetrators of date rape.

Date rape drugs are drugs that are slipped into a drink without the victim’s knowledge. The drugs are odorless and tasteless, and can cause weakness and loss of consciousness.

The team said, “Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”

Any woman would be able to discreetly pretend to stir her drink with a finger, and the polish will change color the moment it detects a date rape drug in the liquid.

The students added, “​Through this nail polish and similar technologies, we hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught.”

The group describes themselves as the “First fashion company empowering women to prevent sexual assault,” and says 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That’s almost one out of every five women in the U.S.

The four students, Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney all come from NC State’s Materials Science & Engineering program and are piloting the school’s first-ever Entrepreneurship Initiatives Fellows Program as they develop it. Their nail polish prototype and business plan was enough to win the Lulu eGames contest this year, and they’ve raised $100,000 to get the business off the ground.

Undercover Colors is still in development and there is currently no date for when the product will become available.

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