One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A green pigment excreted in bile. It is an oxidized derivative of bilirubin.
- ‘While the carbon monoxide either is carried in the blood in the form of carboxyhemoglobin or is excreted by the lungs, the biliverdin is converted to bilirubin by biliverdin reductase.’
- ‘This finding implied that the mutants are defective in heme-oxygenase, an enzyme that converts heme into biliverdin.’
- ‘Her jaundiced skin now shimmered with a light green hue from biliverdin.’
- ‘Destruction of these cells releases haem from their haemoglobin, which is quickly metabolized in the liver to biliverdin and, in turn, to bilirubin.’
- ‘This hypothesis is based on the antioxidant qualities of the blue-green eggshell pigment biliverdin and on the differential allocation version of sexual selection proposed by Burley as applied to female signals.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin bilis ‘bile’ + French vert ‘green’ + -in.
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