ghb orange“Date rape” drugs have gained notoriety for being difficult to detect, so it pays dividends to be extra careful when you go out for some drinks with newfound friends. Who knows what are the kind of stuff that they put in your drink when you go to the toilet for a break? GHB, one of the most commonly-used of such drugs, happens to be colorless as well as odorless, making it extremely difficult to detect. Thanks to a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), they have come up with a fluorescent sensor which will change the color of your GHB-infused drink in half a minute when mixed.

This quick reaction works great in potentially alerting folks that their drink has been tampered with. This team is led by Professor Chang Young-Tae of the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science, where they have singled out an orange compound which changed color when mixed with GHB, and hence have called this particular chemical “GHB Orange.”

When placed in lighter-colored or translucent drinks, the color change was visible to the naked eye, although additional light is needed if one were to observe the change in darker drinks, including cola or whiskey. This might be a wee bit more inconvenient in clubs and pubs, as there is always very little light in there, so it might be a bit weird to bring your drinks outside and inspect it with a torch. Friends might think you’re a weirdo, but hey – better safe than sorry, right?

It remains to be seen when and what form will GHB Orange take when it comes to a commercial release – only time will be able to tell. [Press Release]

Filed in Medical . Tags: science.
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