KnoNap: Napkin capable of detecting drugs in drinks invented by Washington DC student

'Because you are your first and best line of defence'

Chelsea Ritschel
in New York
Monday 29 January 2018 16:17 GMT

We are always reminded to never leave our drinks unattended - but even the most vigilant person can miss the moment someone slips a drug into your drink.

Considered a “drug-facilitated crime” when someone drugs a drink and then sexually assaults or otherwise attacks the victim - one DC student may have figured out a way to prevent it.

Danya Sherman, a junior at George Washington University in DC, created the KnoNap after a friend drugged and assaulted her while she was studying abroad in Spain.

According to Sherman, “It was the first time I actually became aware of the issue and it became very personal.”

Motivated by her own experience, and the experience of thousands of others, Sherman came up with the idea for the KnoNap - a napkin that is capable of testing for 26 of the 40 most commonly used “date rape” drugs, while enrolled in a class called Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.

KnoNap, “The Napkin That Knows,” is ingenious - and capable of preventing and protecting people from date rape.

According to Sherman, “Each napkin looks and acts like a regular napkin. The only thing is that on each corner, you just take a drop of your drink, and if there’s drug presence indicated, there’ll be a clear colour change next to where you put your drink.”

KnoNap can detect date rape drugs

And the napkin is capable of testing for “a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Those include Rohypnol, Xanax, Valium - the drugs that are commonly used on and around college campuses as rape drugs.”

Currently, the product has received funding from the university - as well as business help from Halcyon Incubator, which focuses on early-stage ventures.

Additionally, Sherman and KnoNap are now working with manufacturers, with plans for a Kickstarter campaign starting in Spring.

As for her goals for the invention, Sherman said: “What I hope my company is able to push for is social change, greater awareness of the issue, but at the end of the day, empower individuals to be safer so that no one else has to say ‘me too.’”

And Sherman wants people to know that her invention is meant for the protection of both men and women.

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