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Nail Polish That Changes Colors Could Prevent Date Rape in the Near Future

fingers with nail polish
Hemera

Four students from North Carolina State University in Raleigh have invented a nail polish that could alert its wearer to any date-rape drugs that might have been added to her drink.

The product, Undercover Colors, is a nail polish that changes colors when it comes in contact with certain drugs like Rohypnol (aka “roofies”) and GHB, which are often used by perpetrators of date rape. Anyone wearing the nail polish could use it to detect the drugs by discreetly stirring a drink with just a finger. The students have started a company and hope to create additional products to empower women to prevent attacks.

Reports of sexual assaults on college campuses have increased by more than 50 percent in the last few years, particularly at large universities like N.C. State. And while the nail polish doesn’t directly address rape culture—it doesn’t put the impetus on the perpetrators to stop what they’re doing, for example—it does give women one more tool they can use to protect themselves.

Currently, the four student inventors are in the process of raising funds to refine the Undercover Colors prototype, pay executives and research other technologies.

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