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Straw detects date rape drugs

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM   |   Comments

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Date rape drugs are almost impossible to taste, smell or see.

So in an attempt to combat predators trying to take advantage of the intoxicated, Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a small device that can detect the presence of two common chemicals--ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyri acid (GHB)--most commonly used in attempted date rape.

It's a small, reusable device that sits in a drink and would light up if it detects the presence of a date rape drug.

Frenando Patolsky, who developed the device with his co-researcher Michael Ioffe at Tel Aviv University, explains: "It samples a very small volume of the drink an mixes it with a testing solution. This causes a chemical reaction that makes the solution cloudy or colored, depending on the drug."

Patolsky emphasized the ease of use, and that it could cost less than the price of the drink it's in.

"The device is extremely easy to use," he said. "It does not require any time from the person to detect the drug, the device alone will do that. It will detect the presence of the drug if it is in the drink."

Ioffe said the device could be built into a straw or even into the glass itself, and added that the team hopes to add Rohypnol, more commonly known as roofies, to the device's capability soon.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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