One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of the radioactive isotopes of iodine; especially iodine-131, an artificial isotope with a half-life for beta decay of about 8 days, which is widely used as a tracer (especially in investigating thyroid function) and for radiotherapy of the thyroid gland.
1930s; earliest use found in Journal of the American Chemical Society. From radio- + iodine.
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