New Nail Polish Changes Colour When Exposed to Date-Rape Drugs: Helps Women Safety

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By Sarah Thomas | August 28, 2014 2:18 PM EST

Nail polish is used to decorate nails and even if not every woman love using it, some do. Be it a party or a casual outing, nail polish can be seen being used, but now it can be used to protect women against sexual predators.

Reuters
Bottles of Hard Candy nail polish are displayed in Wal-Mart in New York August 18, 2009. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is rolling out a new line of cosmetics by Hard Candy, hoping to dazzle shoppers with glitter eye shadow and volumizing mascara by a brand that is sold at more upscale retailers, like Sephora. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)

A group of university students in the U.S. have developed a nail polish unlike anything a woman would have come across in the past. This unique invention changes colour when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs. This drug is also called the predator drug and aids in the execution of drug facilitated sexual assault.

This nail polish is being developed by four undergraduate students in the Materials Science & Engineering department at North Carolina State University. They have named the nail paint as Undercover Colours. The product is not completely developed and is still under the process. 

It works in a very unique manner. When the nail paint comes in contact with predator drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB, it will change colour. In order for the nailpolish to be exposed to the drug, the woman needs to secretly stir her drink with her finger. If the nail colour changes, then it would be certain that her drink has been spiked. This is extremely beneficial as the drugs are colourless and odourless and cannot be detected in any other way by a normal person.

This novel idea for the safety of women, especially in nightclubs and other places, was conceived by the four students Stephen Gray, Ankesh Madan, Tasso Von Windheim and Tyler Confrey-Maloney. They formed a team on the university's Engineering Entrepreneurs Program (EEP) and made the development of the Undercover Colours possible.

Ankesh told Higher Education Works that the issue of drug facilitated sexual assault cropped up while they were thinking about the social issues the society was facing. "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," said Ankesh.

They wanted to focus on preventive solutions, "especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use," he explained. And that is how the idea of creating Undercover Colours was born. The researchers also said that though it is known that predator drugs facilitate sexual assault, there is little science for their detection. Their goal they said was to invent "technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime"

The nail polish is being developed with the help of donations; they have already raised $100,000 from one investor. The startup has been doing pretty good, Undercover Colors won the Lulu eGames in April and recently reached the semi-final of the K50 start-up showcase. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Bottles of Hard Candy nail polish are displayed in Wal-Mart in New York August 18, 2009. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is rolling out a new line of cosmetics by Hard Candy, hoping to dazzle shoppers with glitter eye shadow and volumizing mascara by a brand that is sold at more upscale retailers, like Sephora. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)
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