NC State students invent ‘Undercover Colors’ nail polish to detect date rape drugs

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Four undergraduates at North Carolina State University have a unique invention  that’s a fashionable as it is functional.

The team invented “Undercover Colors,” a nail polish that changes color if it comes into contact with date rape drugs Rohypnol and GHB.

“In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” the Undercover Colors team said in a Facebook post.  “That’s almost one out of every five women in our country. They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends.

“While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection.  Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”

Ankesh Madan, one of the four students, said in an interview with Higher Education Works, “Undercover Colors started out as an idea born in my co-founders’ active imaginations. 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.”

North Carolina State has graciously offered to assist the team, providing them with lab space and the ability to test with schedule 1 drugs–the type Undercover Colors is meant to detect, according to Madan.

Undercover Colors is not currently available on the market, but Madan said that is the team’s ultimate goal.

Keep up with the Undercover Colors progress on its Facebook page and website.

https://www.facebook.com/whntnews19/posts/10152336846466045

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