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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 26, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 26
British teens invent STI-detecting condoms
Section One
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British teens invent STI-detecting condoms

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Imagine a condom that would warn you if you partner had a sexually transmitted disease.

Well, three British teens have invented one. The condom glows green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for human papillomavirus or blue for syphilis.

The inventors, Muaz Nawaz, Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah, are students at London's Isaac Newton Academy, a nonprofit private school for inner-city youth.

Their invention, named S.T. EYE, earned them the top prize for health innovation at London's TeenTech Awards. The awards are intended to promote science, engineering and technology in British schools.

For the competition, groups of students, ranging in age from 11 to 16, attempt to create 'technology to make life better, simpler or easier.'

According to the inventors, the condom uses built-in molecular indicators that cause it to fluoresce in low-level light. The indicators attach to the bacteria of common STIs and change color according to the bacteria that are present.

They said they wanted to 'make detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before' without invasive testing.

According to TeenTech, the invention is still 'very much a concept and not a finalized design.'

The other downside is that the new condoms can detect bacterial infections but not viral infections like HIV.

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