Sunday, August 11, 2013

Science and imagination lead to anti-date rape cups and straws

In news that proves how f***ing cool science is

The odorless and tasteless nature of "date rape drugs" can make them impossible for victims to detect before it's too late. But soon your drinking glass may able to warn you if dangerous chemicals have been slipped into your cocktail. Next month, DrinkSavvy will begin shipping plastic cups and straws that change color if a drink contains GHB, Rohypnol or Ketamine, three drugs commonly used for spiking purposes. The effort began with a successful $50,000 Indiegogo campaign led by company founder Michael Abramson — who himself was once unknowingly "roofied" during a night out with friends.

A former engineering student, Abramson recruited the help of two Worcester Polytechnic Institute professors to create cocktailware that could potentially help thwart drug-facilitated sexual assault. Aside from the 16-ounce plastic cups, DrinkSavvy is also producing straws that shift color when in the presence of these date rape drugs. That makes for an easier tool for backers to carry around, and the company hopes to offer an expanded line of products to the public sometime in 2014. Rape crisis centers will have free access to the glassware, and DrinkSavvy is hoping that colleges will make its technology a central part of their rape prevention initiatives.

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