20th March 2006

 

10P BEER MAT TO DETECT DATE RAPE DRUGS

 

A high-tech beer mat which can detect the presence of date rape drugs is being developed at the University of Lincoln.

 

Scientist Mathieu Elie has created a chemical strip which glows a fluorescent colour when it comes into contact with the drugs.

The chemistry technician says the strip could easily be put on beer mats, allowing people to test their drinks in any pub or club.

Mr Elie (30), originally from France, says the strip could be placed around the edge of mats at a cost of around 10p a time.

He has invented the strip as part of his research into the date rape drug GHB and is researching it in his second year of study for a PhD in Forensic Science.

Drink testing kits currently on the market feature a pipette for taking a sample of the drink and a test pad on which to place droplets of the drink.

Bur Mr Elie believes his invention will make testing for spiked drinks much easier.


"The kits sometimes aren't practical, because if you're in a club and it's dark you just can't see a colour change," he said.

"Instead of a normal colour change, when you test your drink with the new beer mat the droplet will glow in the dark.

"The system could then be incorporated into beer mats in pubs so you could take a drop of your drink and test it straight away.

"I would think it would only cost about 10p to produce a strip to put on a beer mat; you only have to use a really low level of chemical."


For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:      www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews.htm