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1. One of the light, flat growths forming the plumage of birds, consisting of numerous slender, closely arranged parallel barbs forming a vane on either side of a horny, tapering, partly hollow shaft.
2. A feathery tuft or fringe of hair, as on the legs or tail of some dogs.
To grow feathers or become feathered.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


any of the flat light waterproof epidermal structures forming the plumage of birds, several types of which form the body covering of birds. The principal types of feather are remex (wing feather); rectrice (tail feather); CONTOUR FEATHER (covering the outside of the bird); DOWN (the soft covering to the body); filoplume (hairlike feathers bearing a few barbs at the apex, occurring between the contour feathers). Feathers consist of a central RACHIS that supports BARBS which, except in down feathers, are connected to form a lamella by means of BARBULES. Feathers are now also known to have occurred in some Theropod DINOSAURS (Coelurosaurs) which have recently been excavated in China, and even Tyrannosaurus may have possessed feathers at some stage in its life cycle.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005

Patient discussion about feather

Q. can you be allergic to goose feathers?? do you get an allergic reaction even through the pillow cover??? If not- I don't know what it is but something in my bed is giving me a rash...

A. i had a similar problem. i just couldn't sleep in my bed and every day i changed one thing to see what is the cause. then i found that one of the pillows causes it and probably from dust mites. you can easily be allergic to goose feathers that can pass through the pillow cover. all you have to do is replace it and see if something changed.

More discussions about feather
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References in periodicals archive ?
Key words: polyomavirus 1, beak and feather disease virus, polymerase chain reaction, avian, Psittaciformes, psittacine birds
These include investigating Chlamydia and Beak and Feather Disease circovirus infections in psittacines, botulism in waterbirds, reviewing Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Southern Brown Bandicoot investigations and undertaking disease risk assessments.
Three infectious agents that are potential threats to New Zealand's endemic birds include avian polyomavirus (APV), beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), and avian malaria.
Tests for polyomavirus, psittacine beak and feather disease virus, and West Nile virus as well as Chlamydophila psittaci were negative.
In 2009, Olsen and Speer (26) evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of PCR assays for psittacine beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) offered by 5 commercial laboratories, but to date, no comparison study has been published evaluating results among laboratories offering PCR assays for APV.
The variation observed has been attributed to the species; age at the time of exposure; concurrent infections, such as psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD); and certain unidentified individual factors.
Psittacine beak and feather disease virus (family Circoviridae, genus Circovirus) is a pathogen of clinical importance for which PCR assays have been developed.
Key words: pinching off syndrome, feather loss, feather disease, feather dystrophy, avian, birds of prey, white-tailed sea eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla
Blood was collected for a complete blood count and biochemical profile, as well as polymerase chain reaction assays for polyomavirus and psittacine beak and feather disease antigen.
Psittacine beak and feather disease is described, but there are no photographs of the characteristic feather abnormalities.
At that time, the bird tested negative for psittacine beak and feather disease by polymerase chain reaction assay (Research Associates, Milford, OH, USA), and results of serum biochemical profile and a complete blood cell count were unremarkable (Antech Diagnostics, New York, NY, USA).
The complete genome of a novel Circovirus isolated from an Australian raven (Corvus coronoides) with feather lesions similar to those that occur in psittacine beak and feather disease is reported.