Scientists develop date-rape drug detector - Macleans.ca

Scientists develop date-rape drug detector

Have campus parties just gotten a little safer?

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It’s a rule of thumb at any campus party: never leave your drink unattended. But two Israeli scientists say they have developed a new sensor that is 100 percent accurate at detecting date-rape drugs in drinks, potentially rendering the rule somewhat less compulsory.

According to AFP, Professor Fernando Patolsky and Doctor Michael Ioffe of Tel Aviv University’s school of chemistry have created a sensor that, when inserted into a drink, indicates the presence of GHB (gamma-hydrobuxybutyric acid) and ketamine, two of the most common date-rape drugs. The device has been tested on a variety of popular cocktails and soft drinks and has been able to detect the drugs in spiked drinks every time. The scientists are working to expand the sensor’s capabilities to include to detection of Rohypnol, another common date-rape drug.

The pair expects the final production of the device to akin to the size of a stir stick, potentially available for sale in the next year and a half.