Friday coffee break: Ant architecture, the importance of sleep, and an ArXive for biologists

Coffee Time

From Sarah: Here are ten ways your house is like an ant’s. And here are ten cool recent dinosaur discoveries.

And, also from Sarah: a new international study shows that students need sleep.

I think we underestimate the impact of sleep. Our data show that across countries internationally, on average, children who have more sleep achieve higher in maths, science and reading. That is exactly what our data show,” says Chad Minnich, of the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center.

From Devin: A new preprint server, bioRxiv, is looking to be the ArXive for the life sciences. (But lots of biologists are starting to use ArXive already.)

… Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is set to test the waters in preprint publishing before the end of the year. The service, called bioRxiv, will be largely modeled after arXiv, with a few additional features to entice life scientists. These include public commenting, room for supplementary information and links to established databases such as GenBank.

From Jeremy: A study tests the quality of plant trait data from public databases by comparing it to new samples.

… the correlation between sampling effort and payoff is still (as usual) high. It may be easier to get traits from a database, but it is not usually better.