1. The process of maintaining constant temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors for the purpose of allowing an embryo to develop properly within an egg, a prematurely-born infant to continue its development outside of its mother's womb, or microbe or tissue cultures to grow until they are a scientifically or medically useful size. When done artificially, incubation is done within an incubator.

  2. The period between the initial infection of a host by a microbe and the time that symptoms of disease begin.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

In`cu*ba"tion (?), n. [L. incubatio: cf. F. incubation.]

1.

A sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching young; a brooding on, or keeping warm, (eggs) to develop the life within, by any process.

Ray.

2. Med.

The development of a disease from its causes, or its period of incubation. (See below.)

3.

A sleeping in a consecrated place for the purpose of dreaming oracular dreams.

Tylor.

Period of incubation, ∨ Stage of incubation Med., the period which elapses between exposure to the causes of a disease and the attack resulting from it; the time of development of the supposed germs or spores.<-- for infectious diseases -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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