One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A red dye originally extracted from madder and also prepared artificially by the oxidation of alizarin.
An anthraquinone derivative; chemical formula: C₁₄H₈O₅
- ‘Alizarin is the main colourant molecule, but the extract also contains a closely related compound called purpurin, which (despite the name) imparts an orange colour.’
- ‘However, the addition of purpurin to oxidized cytochrome c in the absence of microsomal fraction demonstrated low level but dose-dependent ‘reductase-like’ activity.’
- ‘Additionally, monascus pigments, purpurin, chlorophyllin and curcumin were reported to inhibit the mutagenicity of heterocyclic amines and other carcinogens.’
- ‘In general, these newer drugs have been based on the structure of chlorin, purpurin, phthalocyanine or naphthalocyanine.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin purpura ‘purple’ + -in.
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