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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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
DNA extraction and quantification: Genomic DNA (gDNA) was extracted from growing feather pulp using standard Phenol Chloroform Isoamylalcohol (PCI) method (Sambrook et al.
Cytologic, histologic, and microbiologic characterization of the feather pulp and follicles of feather-picking psittacine birds: a preliminary study.
Oral swabs and feather pulp are preferred target samples for diagnosis of WNV infection in corvids (19,20).
Feather pulp: A non-destructive sampling technique for electrophoretic studies of birds.
Additional tests might include feather pulp cytology (8) and skin biopsy, with histopathology and culture and sensitivity testing when indicated.
Some affected feathers were accompanied by heterophilic and lymphocytic infiltration in the inner feather pulp. Other tissues in the skin were negative for influenza virus by immunohistochemical analysis with the exception of very rare positive reaction in stromal cells in the feather pulp.
Previous studies have documented that feather pulp in infected birds often contains high titers of WNV (8).