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RIP Lynn Margulis – Microbial Pioneer

The amazing Ms. Margulis (March 5, 1938 – November 22, 2011) was a renowned, albeit sometimes controversial, scientist who stuck to her views in the face of ridicule.  Now, her views are widely accepted.  Right on.

The New York Times called her an “evolution theorist,” and she referred to herself as “a spokesperson for the microcosm,” though she has also been described simply as a biologist or microbiologist.  Margulis posited that that cells with nuclei, which are known as eukaryotes and include all the cells in the human body, evolved as a result of symbiotic relationships among bacteria. In other words, we and our little friends are all in it together.  However they go, so do we go.  Makes you wonder just how deep the consequences of indiscriminate use of antibiotics go.

Lynn was also associated with the Gaia theory, an idea developed by the English scientist James Lovelock, whereby the Earth and all its organic and inorganic matters create a closely integrated single and self-regulating complex system that maintains an elegant homeostasis to support life.  In a nutshell, we are part of a giant super-organism, so polluting the Earth is kind of like poisoning your own body.

Despite how new and different her ideas were, they were eventually embraced (she won a National Medal of Science).

A true pioneer. she will be missed.  Rest in peace.

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