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Nail polish can detect date rape drugs. Here's how it works

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Thanks to a new line of nail polish that four male students from the North Carolina State University develop, manicures are now more than just a girl's favorite body art. They can now even be used to protect women from sexual assault.

Sexual perpetrators are known to use date rape drugs such as Xanax, GHB and Rohypnol to commit their crimes, but victims are not often aware that they are given these drugs because these are usually colorless and odorless. The new nail polish called Undercover Colors, however, changes color when exposed to these substances which then alerts the potential victim of the dangers of sipping a drink offered to her.

Stephen Gray, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Ankesh Madan and Tasso Von Windheim, undergraduate students at North Carolina State University, who are behind the innovative cosmetic line said that all of them have been close to someone who had been sexually assaulted. So they wanted to come up with a solution that can protect women from sexual predators.

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

Sexual assault happens every two minutes in the U.S and a recent report by the Washington Post revealed that in college campuses nationwide alone, there are more than 3,900 allegations of forced sex offenses as of 2012, an increase of 50 percent in just three years.

Although the team is still conducting tests with the nail polish and the product is not yet ready to be mass produced, the developers said that they are confident about its success. It will only just be a matter of time before the products become available for mass production.

The startup has already managed to raise $100,000 from one investor alone while the nail polish is still being developed. It appears that the target consumers of Undercover Colors look forward to the availability of the product as well.

"This is covert, simple to use and would take the stress of uncertainty away before there is a problem. As a mother with a daughter, I'm happy something like this is in development," a comment posted on the Undercover Colors Facebook page reads with some commenters encouraging the group to do a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign.

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