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Lynn Margulis
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    (March 5, 1938-November 22, 2011)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name was Lynn Petra Alexander
    Evolutionary biologist
    Developed endosymbiotic theory: certain cell organelles (notably mitochondria and chloroplasts) were originally free-living bacteria that were taken inside other cells in a mutually beneficial relationship
    Also a proponent of the Gaia hypothesis: the organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet
    Wrote or co-wrote the books 'Origins of Eukaryotic Cells' (1970), 'Early Life' (1982), 'Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors' (1987), 'Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality' (1991), 'The Garden of Microbial Delights: A Practical Guide to the Subvisual World' (1993), 'Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth' (1997) and 'Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature' (2007)
    Recipient of the National Medal of Science (1999)
    She was divorced from astronomer Carl Sagan and chemist Thomas Margulis.
    She said, 'I quit my job as a wife twice. It's not humanly possible to be a good wife, a good mother and a first-class scientist.'
    She claimed HIV does not cause AIDS.
    She was a 9/11 'Truther.'
    She was admitted to the University of Chicago when she was 14.
    She did not go overboard with the Gaia hypothesis, unlike some proponents who claim the Earth itself is a living organism, declaring 'That's so anthropomorphic, so misleading.'
    After decades of resistance from the scientific establishment, endosymbiotic theory gained support when it was found that the genetic material in mitochondria and chloroplasts differs from the DNA in cell nuclei.
    Richard Dawkins said, 'I greatly admire Lynn Margulis's sheer courage and stamina in sticking by the endosymbiosis theory, and carrying it through from being an unorthodoxy to an orthodoxy.... This is one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology, and I greatly admire her for it.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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