Sensor Sips Drinks to Detect Date Rape Drugs

Professor Fernando Patolsky and Doctor Michael Ioffe of Tel Aviv University's school of chemistry have developed a sensor that can detect date rape drugs in real time. The sensor is placed in a straw or stirrer so it can be discreetly dipped into your drink. It takes a small sample of your drink and mixes it with a chemical solution If the testing detects a date-rape drug, it turns dark and the sensor shines a red light.

The sensor is designed to detect two of the most commonly used date rape drugs: GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and ketamine, and the scientist plan on expanding the device’s detection capacity to include Rohypnol (roofies) in the near future. The scientists tested their sensor on a range of popular drinks and soft drinks, and it was able to correctly detect a spiked drink 100-percent of the time.

The chemical formula the device uses is cheap to produce and it isn't toxic, which means companies should be able to produce the sensor without a long-winded approval from the government. The pair of scientists expects that their sensor could come to the commercial market within a year and a half, assuming they can get funding.

The scientists told AFP that they are still deciding how the sensor will inform the user; among the possible methods it could be with a light, it rotating, or the sensor could send a text.

[AFP via CNET and Gizmodo / Photo: StuartWebster on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

Like this? You might also enjoy…

Get your GeekTech on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.