Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hair or hairlike structure, especially on the surface of a cell or microorganism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, one of the fine slender bodies, like hair, covering some plants.
  • noun In zoology, a hair or hair-like body, especially a hair in any way distinguished from those which collectively cover the body.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hair.
  • noun microbiology A hairlike appendage found on the cell surface of many bacteria.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun hairlike structure especially on the surface of a cell or microorganism
  • noun any of the cylindrical filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin hair

Examples

  • It does explore the topic of homology between the flagellar axial proteins rod-hook-filament and the T3SS pilus, which is incredibly useful.

    When did ID "Jump the Shark"? - The Panda's Thumb

  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • A bacterium connects itself to another through a tube structure called pilus (there are lots of them, spiky things, plural: pilli), you can see them in the second illustration in this article (scroll up).

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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  • The pilus is a long, hair-like appendage that the bacterium uses to reach out to human cells that it infects.

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Comments

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  • "There are two key components to the bacteria's assault on a human body: the TCP pilus that allows it to replicate with such exponential fury in the small intestine, and the cholera toxin that actually triggers the rapid dehydration of the host. Mekalanos and Waldor discovered that the gene for cholera toxin is actually supplied by an outside source: a virus called CTX phage.... As unlikely as it sounds, V. cholerae is not a born killer. It needs the CTX phage to switch over to the dark side."

    —Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map (New York: Penguin, 2006), 246

    October 4, 2008