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Concept: Werewolf


The creation of reversibly-actuating components that alter their shapes in a controllable manner in response to environmental stimuli is a grand challenge in active materials, structures, and robotics. Here we demonstrate a new reversible shape-changing component design concept enabled by 3D printing two stimuli responsive polymers-shape memory polymers and hydrogels-in prescribed 3D architectures. This approach uses the swelling of a hydrogel as the driving force for the shape change, and the temperature-dependent modulus of a shape memory polymer to regulate the time of such shape change. Controlling the temperature and aqueous environment allows switching between two stable configurations - the structures are relatively stiff and can carry load in each - without any mechanical loading and unloading. Specific shape changing scenarios, e.g., based on bending, or twisting in prescribed directions, are enabled via the controlled interplay between the active materials and the 3D printed architectures. The physical phenomena are complex and nonintuitive, and so to help understand the interplay of geometric, material, and environmental stimuli parameters we develop 3D nonlinear finite element models. Finally, we create several 2D and 3D shape changing components that demonstrate the role of key parameters and illustrate the broad application potential of the proposed approach.

Concepts: Engineering, Control, Inkjet printer, Mystique, 3D printing, Polymers, Shapeshifting, Werewolf


This paper provides an overview and critical reassessment of the cases of clinical lycanthropy reported in the medical literature from 1850 onwards. Out of 56 original case descriptions of metamorphosis into an animal, only 13 fulfilled the criteria of clinical lycanthropy proper. The remaining cases constituted variants of the overarching class of clinical zoanthropy. Forty-seven cases involved primary delusions, and nine secondary delusions on the basis of somatic and/or visual hallucinations which may well have affected the patients' sense of physical existence, also known as coenaesthesis. Cases of secondary delusions in particular warrant proper somatic and auxiliary investigations to rule out any underlying organic pathology, notably in somatosensory areas and those representing the body scheme.

Concepts: Medicine, Sensory system, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Delusion, Illusion, Werewolf, Therianthropy


Monitoring large carnivores is a central issue in conservation biology. The wolf (Canis lupus) is the most studied large carnivore in the world. After a massive decline and several local extinctions, mostly due to direct persecutions, wolves are now recolonizing many areas of their historical natural range. One of the main monitoring techniques is the howling survey, which is based on the wolves' tendency to use vocalisations to mark territory ownership in response to howls of unknown individuals. In most cases wolf howling sessions are useful for the localisation of the pack, but they provide only an aural estimation of the chorus size. We tested and present a new bioacoustic approach to estimate chorus size by recording wolves' replies and visualising choruses through spectrograms and spectral envelopes. To test the methodology, we compared: a) the values detected by visual inspections with the true chorus size to test for accuracy; b) the bioacoustic estimations of a sample of free-ranging wolves' replies developed by different operators to test for precision of the method; c) the aural field estimation of chorus size of a sample of free-ranging wolves' replies with the sonogram analysis of the same recordings to test for difference between methods.

Concepts: Extinction, Dog, Canidae, Gray Wolf, Coyote, Canis, Werewolf, Wolf


Size-related changes of body shape were explored in 15 polymorphic species of Solenopsis fire ants by analyzing body weight along with linear measurements of 24 body parts. Log regression slopes were used to detect changes of shape with increasing size. Within species, the largest workers weighed from about 5 to 30-fold as much as the smallest. The range of within-species body lengths varied from 1.6 mm to 4 mm. As worker size increased, the gaster tended to make up a larger proportion of body length, usually at the cost of the petiole, and rarely at the cost of head length or mesosoma length. In most, the relative volume of the gaster increased and that of the head and mesosoma decreased. Most also showed an increasingly “humped” mesosoma. For all species, head shape changed from barrel-shaped to heart-shaped as worker size increased. Antennae became relatively shorter as the relative size of the club decreased. Shape changes of the legs were more variable. S. geminata was exceptional in the extreme nature of its head shape change, and was the only species in which relative head volume increased and gaster volume decreased with increasing body size. With the exception of S. geminata, the allometric rules governing shape are remarkably similar across species, suggesting a genus-level developmental scheme that is not easily modified by evolution. It also suggests that the evolution of shape is highly constrained by these conserved growth rules, and that it acts primarily (perhaps only) through allometric growth. The results are discussed in light of the growth of imaginal discs in a resource-limited body (the pupa). The substantial variation of allometries within species and across localities is also discussed in relation to using allometric patterns to identify species or to construct phylogenies.

Concepts: Evolution, Change, Mystique, Ant, Length, Shapeshifting, Metasoma, Werewolf