Word of the Day – Wednesday, April 26th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


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SITU (SEE-too)

In Situ: In the original position
Common clues:
In ___: Unmoved; In ___ (legalese for original position); In ___ (undisturbed); In ___ (as found); In ___ (as placed)
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

In situ is a Latin phrase meaning in the place. It is used in many different contexts.

In legal context, in situ is often used for its literal meaning. For example, in Hong Kong, in situ land exchange involves the government exchanging the original or expired lease of a piece of land with a new grant or re-grant with the same piece of land or a portion of that.

In literature in situ is used to describe a condition. The Rosetta Stone, for example, was originally erected in a courtyard, for public viewing. Most pictures of the famous stone are not "in-situ" pictures of it erected, as it would have been originally. The stone was uncovered as part of building material, within a wall. Its in situ condition today is that it is erected, vertically, on public display at the British Museum.

In biology, in situ means to examine the phenomenon exactly in place where it occurs (i.e. without moving it to some special medium). This usually means something intermediate between in vivo and in vitro. For example, examining a cell within a whole organ intact and under perfusion may be in situ investigation. This would not be in vivo as the donor is sacrificed before experimentation, but it would not be the same as working with the cell alone (a common scenario in in vitro experiments).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "In situ"