The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

I finally had a chance read it and I could not put it down.  Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern US tobacco farmer who had her cancerous cells taken without her knowledge in 1951.  Those cells – called HeLa – became the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, and they are alive today.  They helped develop the polio vaccine, assist research into cancer and viruses, and develop in-vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping. This story – by Rebecca Skloot – is about the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles around who owns the stuff we are made of.  It jumps around in time but it is easy to follow.  I found it quite fascinating. (submitted by DS)

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