Distal and Proximal – Today’s Science Word

Have you ever had difficulty describing where something is in relation to others?

When scientists discuss where things are on a person or other animal, they also need words to compare.  Two such words are DISTAL and PROXIMAL.

Distal means that something is further from either the center of the body or a point of attachment.

 

 

Proximal means that something is nearer to either the center of the body or a point of attachment.

These are relative words, meaning that the same body part can be distal to one thing and proximal to another.

For example, the elbow is distal to the shoulder and proximal to the wrist.