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New nail polish changes colors on contact with date rape drugs, Rohypnol and GHB

Four guys from North Carolina might have just revolutionized the way women stay safe at parties.
Four guys from North Carolina might have just revolutionized the way women stay safe at parties.
Wikimedia Commons

Four undergraduates from North Carolina State University are doing their part to empower women across the globe. The quartet of Ankesh Madan, Stephan Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney have begun to develop a type of nail polish that changes colors when wearers come into contact with certain date rape drugs. The company, called Undercover Colors, is on their way to revolutionizing the way women accessorize.

According to the Undercover Color's Facebook page, "In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime … 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." Given the recent media attention paid to the growing issue of sexual assault in the nation's universities, this product couldn't have come at a better time.

One investor was so impressed that the company earned itself a cool $100 grand after they presented at this year's K50 Startup Challenge, an annual competition designed to shine a spotlight on the nation's most promising entrepreneurs. While the nail polish is still "early in the R&D stage," as of Aug. 20 Undercover Colors is working hard to refine the prototype into a marketable product.

The ultimate goal, according to the team, is to develop, "a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger." No telling how discreet a young woman would be if her nail polish changed color in the middle of a party, though. Predators, beware.

Actually, on second thought, this is probably in the best interests of potential rapists, too. Just think about it: Right now, if you're the kind of d-bag who aims to drug girls at parties, the penalty for being caught is prison time and a lot of uncomfortably intimate shower experiences (unless you're good at a sport, in which case you're probably in the clear). With this new drug on the market, however, your punishment drops from prison rape to getting beaten to a bloody pulp on the front lawn after your potential victim rallies some friends for a little down home justice (which is empirically the best kind of justice).

Ultimately, the good folks at Undercover Colors, "hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught. In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators." Now there's a business model anyone can get behind.