Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
in silico is literally "in silicon" and means "performed on computer or via computer simulation." The phrase is derived from the latin phrases in vivo and in vitro that are commonly used in biology and are used refer to experiments done in living organisms and outside of living organisms respectively.
The expression "in silico" has been used in White Papers written to support the creation of bacterial genome programs by the Commission of the European Community. The sentence where "in silico" appeared first in a public article is the following: "Experimentation in silico Using the data available in libraries [...] two sets of experiments were performed on computers (experiments in silico) using the consistency of the data extracted. [...]"
"In silico" was briefly challenged by "in silicio", some researchers advocating reference to silicium; however "in silico" (which is built on the radical that gives "silicate" for example) prevailed and it is now widely used, including as a journal title (In silico biology: http://www.bioinfo.de/isb/)
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