The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

 

If you have had nearly any medical treatment in the last 50 years, chances are good that the cervical cells of a 31 y ear old mother of 5, Henrietta Lacks, had something to do with it.

Henrietta died of cervical cancer in 1951 and without the knowledge of her family, her cells were harvested and used to create the most successful cell line in history, known by scientists and researchers everywhere as HeLa.  Although the term HeLa is familiar to many students and doctors, until now, few knew the history of these cells.

In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot tells a story of cancer, poverty, racism, theft, scientific ethics, hope and grace.

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