Mixing advanced chemistry with traditional cosmetics, a team of four undergraduates at NC State University is taking a creative approach to combatting sexual assault, creating a nail polish that changes colors in the presence of common date-rape drugs.
“In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” the NC State 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.”
This spring, Undercover Colors won the Lulu eGames student competition, sponsored by NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative to challenge students to design working solutions to real-world problems. Teams and individual students went head-to-head for the chance to win seed funding for their ventures.