In the framework of the research project Rhythmical Change of Shape in Mistletoe Berries According to Moon and Zodiac Constellations by Renatus Derbidge at the Natural Science Section of the Goetheanum a first paper was published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. It presents methods and software to capture and measure the shape changes of mistletoe berries and leaf buds over time. The paper describes the software used to automatize a number of tasks including contour recognition, optimization of fitting the contour via hill-climbing, derivation of the path curves, computation of Lambda and blinding the pictures for the operator. The validity of the program is demonstrated by results from three independent measurements showing circadian rhythm in mistletoe berries. The program is available as open source and will be applied in a project to analyze the chronobiology of shape in mistletoe berries and the buds of their host trees.
Coauthors of the paper are Linus Feiten (Faculty of Engineering, Chair of Computer Architecture, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany), Oliver Conradt (Section for Mathematics and Astronomy, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland), Peter Heusser (Centre for Integrative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany) und Stephan Baumgartner (Hiscia Institute, Society for Cancer Research, Arlesheim, Switzerland).