This article was original posted on the 24 June 2015 by FIONA MACDONALD on www.sciencealert.com
High school students in the UK have created a condom that changes colour when it comes into contact with the pathogens that cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamdyida or herpes.
The condom, which they’re calling the ‘S.T.EYE’, would have molecules built into the rubber that attach to specific bacteria and viruses. These molecules would then cause the condom to fluoresce different colours in low light, depending on the pathogens present.
“We wanted to make something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors,” 14-year-old Daanyaal Ali, one of the inventors, told the press.
While still in the conceptual stage, the team explained that the S.T.EYE could glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for human papillomavrius or blue for syphilis.
The team, which also invovled students Muaz Nawaz, 13 and Chirag Shah, 14, won the TeenTech award for best health innovation for their idea, which they hope will help make sex safer in the future.
“We created the S.T.EYE as a new way for STI detection to help the future of the next generation,” said Ali. “We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.”
The team will be presented their award at Buckingham Palace later in the year, and will also be awarded £1,000 (R13594,95) for their invention.
The aim of the awards is to “encourage students to take their ideas out of the classroom by putting them face-to-face with industry professionals, helping to open their eyes to the real potential of their ideas,” according to founder Maggie Philbin.
Other entries included an electronic tap that helps to save water in developing countries, and shoes that allow its wearer to charge items while walking.
We hope the industry is paying attention and decides to turn some of these ideas into a reality. Although we can only imagine how much worse the post-coital conversation would be if your condom had just started glowing blue. Awkward.