Students Create Nail Varnish To Detect Date Rape Drugs

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A group of students at a US university is creating a nail varnish to detect date rape drugs, which will enable the wearer to detect whether their drink has been spiked just by dipping a finger in it.

The all-male undergraduate team at North Carolina State University is developing the polish which changes colour if it comes into contact with Rohypnol or GHB.

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The group called Undercover Colors, made up of Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney, wrote on their Facebook page: "In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That's almost one out of every five women in our country.

"We may not know who they are, but these women are not faceless. They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends.

"Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.

"We want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators. We are Undercover Colors and we are the first fashion company empowering women to prevent sexual assault."

From left to right: Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tyler Confrey-Maloney and Tasso Von Windheim

The project has already won various design awards, and has amassed thousands of followers on social media, with more than 25,000 likes on Facebook.

Speaking to Higher Education Works, Madan said: "As we were thinking about big problems in our society, the topic of drug-facilitated sexual assault came up. All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience, and we began to focus on finding a way to help prevent the crime.

"We wanted to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use. And so the idea of creating a nail polish that detects date rape drugs was born."

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