The word in question is "Helicopter" - formed from He, Li, Co, Pt, and Er.

The periodic table of the elements was first formalised in 1869 by the Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev (1834-1907).

Had Mendeleev not had a remarkable "Helicopter" mother this scientific advancement (if sometimes quiz player's nightmare!) might not ever have existed. When his father became blind and could no longer teach, she took over the family's glass factory, and when that was destroyed by fire, she embarked an an odyssey with her teenage son from their native Siberia to Moscow. When the university there refused him, she took them on to St Petersburg, where he was more academically successful, but contracted TB.

Despite all these setbacks, he went on to be one of the 19th century's pre-eminent scientific figures.

Remarkably far-sighted, he predicted that other elements would come to light, and since his demise, several have been created in the laboratory, expanding the Periodic Table.

But as Tom Lehrer memorably said in his musical setting of the Periodic Table, there are probably many still to be discovered!

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