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Encyclopedia > Lynn Margulis
Lynn Margulis
Lynn Margulis

Dr. Lynn Margulis (born March 15, 1938) is a biologist and University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[1] She is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles, and her contributions to the endosymbiotic theory—which is now generally accepted for how certain organelles were formed. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (600x900, 124 KB) Summary Lynn Margulis. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (600x900, 124 KB) Summary Lynn Margulis. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... Earth science (also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earth Sciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. ... The University of Massachusetts Amherst (otherwise known as UMass Amherst or UMass) is a research and land-grant university in Amherst, USA. The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers over 90 undergraduate and 65 graduate areas of study. ... Kingdoms Animalia - Animals Fungi Plantae - Plants Chromalveolata Protista Alternative phylogeny Unikonta Opisthokonta Metazoa Choanozoa Eumycota Amoebozoa Bikonta Apusozoa Cabozoa Rhizaria Excavata Corticata Archaeplastida Chromalveolata Animals, plants, fungi, and protists are eukaryotes (IPA: ), organisms whose cells are organized into complex structures by internal membranes and a cytoskeleton. ... Schematic of typical animal cell, showing subcellular components. ... It has been suggested that Proto-mitochondrion be merged into this article or section. ... Electron micrograph of a mitochondrion showing its mitochondrial matrix and membranes In cell biology, a mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a membrane-enclosed organelle that is found in most eukaryotic cells. ...



Endosymbiotic theory

Lynn Margulis attended the University of Chicago as an undergrad and received her Ph.D. in 1963 from UC Berkeley. In 1966, as a young faculty member at Boston University, she wrote a theoretical paper entitled The Origin of Mitosing Eukaryotic Cells.[2] The paper however was "rejected by about fifteen scientific journals," Margulis recalled.[3] It was finally accepted by The Journal of Theoretical Biology and is considered today a landmark in modern endosymbiotic theory. Although it draws heavily on symbiosis ideas first put forward by mid-19th century scientists and by Merezhkovsky (1905) and Wallin (1920) in the early-20th century, Margulis's endosymbiotic theory formulation is the first to rely on direct microbiological observations (as opposed to paleontological or zoological observations which were previously the norm for new works in evolutionary biology). The paper was initially heavily rejected, as symbiosis theories had been dismissed by mainstream biology at the time. Weathering constant criticism of her ideas for decades, Margulis is famous for her tenacity in pushing her theory forward, despite the opposition she faced at the time. For other uses, see University of Chicago (disambiguation). ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... For the similarly named institution in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ... It has been suggested that Proto-mitochondrion be merged into this article or section. ... Konstantin Sergivich Merezhkovsky (1855-1921) (also transliterated Konstantin Sergeevich Merezhkovsky, Constantin Sergeevič Mérejkovski, Constantin Sergejewicz Mereschcowsky, Konstantin Sergejewicz Mereschkovsky and Konstantin Sergejewicz Mereschkowsky) was a prominent Russian biologist and botanist active mainly around Kazan, whose research on lichens led him to propose the theory of symbiogenesis - that larger, more... An agar plate streaked with microorganisms Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are unicellular or cell-cluster microscopic organisms. ... Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, ancient; ontos, being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. ... Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

The underlying theme of endosymbiotic theory, as formulated in 1966, was interdependence and cooperative existence of multiple prokaryotic organisms; one organism engulfed another, yet both survived and eventually evolved over millions of years into eukaryotic cells. Her 1970 book, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells, discusses her early work pertaining to this organelle genesis theory in detail. Currently, her endosymbiotic theory is recognized as the key method by which some organelles have arisen (see endosymbiotic theory for a discussion) and is widely accepted by mainstream scientists. The endosymbiotic theory of organogenesis gained strong support in the 1980s, when the genetic material of mitochondria and chloroplasts was found to be different from that of the symbiont's nuclear DNA.[4] Prokaryotes are unicellular (in rare cases, multicellular) organisms without a nucleus. ... Kingdoms Eukaryotes are organisms with complex cells, in which the genetic material is organized into membrane-bound nuclei. ... Schematic of typical animal cell, showing subcellular components. ... It has been suggested that Proto-mitochondrion be merged into this article or section. ... In cell biology, a mitochondrion is an organelle found in the cells of most eukaryotes. ... Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells and eukaryotic algae that conduct photosynthesis. ... Nuclear DNA is DNA contained within a nucleus of eukaryotic organisms. ...

In 1995, prominent Neo-Darwinist evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins had this to say about Lynn Margulis and her work: Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ...

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. I'm referring to the theory that the eukaryotic cell is a symbiotic union of primitive prokaryotic cells. This is one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology, and I greatly admire her for it.[5]

Theory of symbiotic relationships driving evolution

She later formulated a theory to explain how symbiotic relationships between organisms of often different phyla or kingdoms are the driving force of evolution. Genetic variation is proposed to occur mainly as a result of transfer of nuclear information between bacterial cells or viruses and eukaryotic cells. While her organelle genesis ideas are widely accepted, symbiotic relationships as a current method of introducing genetic variation is something of a fringe idea. However, examination of the results from the Human Genome Project lends some credence to an endosymbiotic theory of evolution—or at the very least Margulis's endosymbiotic theory is the catalyst for current ideas about the composition of the human genome. Significant portions of the human genome are either bacterial or viral in origin—some clearly ancient insertions, while others are more recent in origin. This strongly supports the idea of symbiotic—and more likely parasitic—relationships being a driving force for genetic change in humans, and likely all organisms. It should be noted that while the endosymbiotic theory has historically been juxtaposed with Neo-Darwinism, the two theories are not incompatible and the truth is likelier to be that natural selection works on many levels (genetic up to the ecosystem) and variation is introduced both at the genetic and the cellular level. This article is about evolution in biology. ... Genetic variation is the variation in the genetic material of a population, and includes the nuclear, mitochodrial, ribosomal genomes as well as the genomes of other organelles. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... This article is about biological infectious particles. ... Kingdoms Eukaryotes are organisms with complex cells, in which the genetic material is organized into membrane-bound nuclei. ... The Human Genome Projects (HGP) goal is to understand the genetic make-up of the human species by determining the DNA sequence of the human genome and the genome of a few model organisms. ... A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of it. ... The modern evolutionary synthesis (often referred to simply as the modern synthesis), neo-Darwinian synthesis or neo-Darwinism, brings together Charles Darwins theory of the evolution of species by natural selection with Gregor Mendels theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance. ...

She does, however, hold a negative view of Neo-Darwinism, as she believes that history will ultimately judge the theory as "a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology."[6] She also believes that proponents of the standard theory "wallow in their zoological, capitalistic, competitive, cost-benefit interpretation of Darwin - having mistaken him... Neo-Darwinism, which insists on (the slow accrual of mutations), is a complete funk."[7]


Margulis' present day efforts, in the form of books and lectures, strongly stress a symbiotic—and cooperative—relationship between all organisms and a strong leaning toward Gaia theory. Her advocacy outside the realm of biology and toward more sociopolitical ends has been criticized by more mainstream scientists—somewhat similar to criticisms aimed toward Carl Sagan's latter day ideas. The Gaia hypothesis, a hypothesis put forward to explain a number of paradoxes about life and the earth was first formulated in the 1960s, by the independent research scientist James Lovelock. ... Politics is a process by which collective decisions are made within groups. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ...

Recently, Margulis has leant her support to 9/11 conspiracy theories, calling the September 11, 2001 attacks a "false-flag" operation of the United States government itself.[8],[9] A variety of conspiracy theories have emerged which contradict the mainstream account of the September 11, 2001 attacks. ... A sequential look at United Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11—pronounced nine eleven or nine one one) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist[1] suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly...


President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Russian Academy of Sciences: main building Russian Academy of Sciences (Росси́йская Акаде́мия Нау́к) is the national academy of Russia. ... The House of the Academy, Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... This article is about the year. ... National Medal of Science The National Medal of Science is an honor given by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... For other uses, see Gaia. ... Dr. James Ephraim Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS (born 26 July 1919) is an independent scientist, author, researcher, environmentalist, and futurologist who lives in Cornwall, in the south west of Great Britain. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


She was the first wife of astronomer Carl Sagan and is the mother of Dorion Sagan, popular science writer and co-author; Jeremy Sagan, software developer and founder of Sagan Technology; Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, New York City Criminal Defense lawyer; and Jennifer Margulis, teacher and author. An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ... Son of Carl Sagan and Lynn Margulis. ... Jeremy Sagan is the founder of Sagan Technology and author of Metro, an audio, MIDI and video sequencer for Apple Macintosh computers. ... Sagan Technology is a Massachusetts based company focusing on the creation of quality software for Macintosh computers. ...

See also

Symbiogenesis refers to the merging of two separate organisms to form a single new organism. ...

Publications and bibliography

  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 2007, Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature, Sciencewriters Books, ISBN 978-1-933392-31-8
  • Margulis, Lynn and Eduardo Punset, eds., 2007 Mind, Life and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time, Sciencewriters Books, ISBN 978-1-933392-61-5
  • Margulis, Lynn, 2007, Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love, Sciencewriters Books, ISBN 978-1-933392-33-2
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 2002, Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species, Perseus Books Group, ISBN 0-465-04391-7
  • Margulis, Lynn, et al., 2002, The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change, University of New Hampshire, ISBN 1-58465-062-1
  • Margulis, Lynn, 1998, Symbiotic Planet : A New Look at Evolution, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-07271-2
  • Margulis, Lynn and Karlene V. Schwartz, 1997, Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth, W.H. Freeman & Company, ISBN 0-613-92338-3
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorian Sagan, 1997, What Is Sex?, Simon and Shuster, ISBN 0-684-82691-7
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 1997, Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis, and Evolution, Copernicus Books, ISBN 0-387-94927-5
  • Margulis, Lynn, 1992, Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Microbial Communities in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons, W.H. Freeman, ISBN 0-7167-7028-8
  • Margulis, Lynn, ed, 1991, Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation: Speciation and Morphogenesis, The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-13269-9
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 1991, Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality, Summit Books, ISBN 0-671-63341-4
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 1987, Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-04-570015-X
  • Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, 1986, Origins of Sex : Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-03340-0
  • Margulis, Lynn, 1982, Early Life, Science Books International, ISBN 0-86720-005-7
  • Margulis, Lynn, 1970, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-01353-1

There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


  1. ^ Lynn Margulis biography at U. Mass. (Accessed July 15, 2006)
  2. ^ Lynn Sagan (1967). On the origin of mitosing cells. J. Theoretical Biology 14(3), 255-274. PMID 11541392 doi:10.1016/0022-5193(67)90079-3
  3. ^ John Brockman, The Third Culture, New York: Touchstone, 1995, 135.
  4. ^ Acceptance Doesn't Come Easy (Accessed July 15, 2006)
  5. ^ John Brockman, The Third Culture, New York: Touchstone, 1995, 144.
  6. ^ Mann, C. (1991) "Lynn Margulis: Science's Unruly Earth Mother," Science, 252
  7. ^ Mann, C. (1991) "Lynn Margulis: Science's Unruly Earth Mother," Science, 378-381
  8. ^ statement by Lynn Margulis, [1](Accessed November 17, 2007)
  9. ^ [www.911truth.org/article.php?story=2007082682539691](Accessed November 18, 2007)

is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Book review of Lynn Margulis (1770 words)
Margulis follows the American biologist Ivan Wallin, who in 1927 was the first one to propose that bacteria may represent the fundamental cause of the "origin of species" (Darwin's unsolved mystery) and that the creation of a species may occur via endosymbiosis.
Margulis believes that the presence of "extra" DNA in the cell is a fossil of an ancient evolutionary event: it testifies the fusion of at least two different kinds of organisms which together formed a "eukaryiotic" cell.
Margulis emphasizes that not only the atmosphere but even the geology of our planet is due to the work of bacteria (mineral deposits have been shaped by the work of bacteria over million of years, or by the reaction with the waste gas of bacteria).
Dr Lynn Margulis: Microbiological Collaboration of the Gaia Hypothesis (4545 words)
Effectively, Lynn Margulis contended that symbiosis, not chance mutation, was the driving force behind evolution and that the cooperation between organisms and the environment are the chief agents of natural selection -- not competition among individuals.
While the research work of Lynn Margulis in the area of cell evolution was gradually being accepted, her collaboration with Dr James Lovelock in the formulation of the Gaia Hypothesis was often viewed in a critical manner.
As it has eventuated, Lynn Margulis and others have more recently determined that the emergent themes of their collaborative research had been already partially explored and examined by independent work outside of the US and UK.
  More results at FactBites »



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