“In Firmo” – A New Scientific Term

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on April 4, 2019 · 0 comments

In vitro is the study of things in test tubes. In vivo is the study of things in a living system. Researchers at UNC School of Medicine and Notre Dame University have proposed the term “in firmo” to define the experimental examination of excrement – poop.

Why, you are wondering, do we need a scientific term, based in Latin, for the study of poop? Stools are now at the forefront of biomedical research because they tell us a lot about what is going on in our digestive tract and provide a sample of the bacterial population in our gut – called our microbiota. Yet, when reporting on this type of research in scientific papers, to date, researchers have not had accurate, consistent terminology they can use.

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