In her NY Times blog, Olivia Judson gives an ovation to Archaea. This domain of organisms gets none of the recognition of their more famous kin, Bacteria and Eukaryotes despite their unusual biology. As she describes, some members of the group Archaea have extreme tolerance to temperature and pH, thriving in the boiling acids found in hot springs and the bottom of ocean vents. All known methane producing microbes are found among the Archaea.
A new report in Science provides a textbook example of how plants can either be good at growing (taking advantage of nutrient resources) or be good at resisting herbivores, but not both. The experiment was conducted by comparing growth and herbivory on 16 species of milkweed. The article is by Mooney et al. and there is a perspectives article as well.