One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A liquid, HOCH₂CH₂SH, used as an intermediate in organic synthesis, as a chain transfer agent in polymerization reactions, and in buffer solutions to maintain protein sulphydryl groups in a reduced state; 2-hydroxyethylmercaptan.
1940s; earliest use found in Biochemical Journal. From mercapto- + ethanol.
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