Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta. Editorial Reviews. mitsukeru.info Review. Amazon Best Books of the Month, February Life of Henrietta Lacks - Kindle edition by Rebecca Skloot, Sarah Moss. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. Rebecca Skloot (Author).
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Read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. **Now an HBO® . Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERHer name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as. The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)] / Rebecca Skloot. Documents Medical ethics. Online Access: Go to download page.
Calling all academics: See below for more information on the book, and advanced praise. Added bonus: Henrietta Lacks was a year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in Without her knowledge, doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her cervix for research. They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously productive, cell line—known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments.
Her light brown skin is smooth, her eyes still young and playful, oblivious to the tumor growing inside her--a tumor that would leave her five children motherless and change the future of medicine.
She's usually identified as Helen Lane, but often she has no name at all. She's simply called HeLa, the code name given to the world's first immortal human cells-- her cells, cut from her cervix just months before she died. Her real name is Henrietta Lacks.
I've spent years staring at that photo, wondering what kind of life she led, what happened to her children, and what she'd think about cells from her cervix living on forever--bought, sold, packaged, and shipped by the trillions to laboratories around the world.
I've tried to imagine how she'd feel knowing that her cells went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity, or that they helped with some of the most important advances in medicine: I'm pretty sure that she--like most of us--would be shocked to hear that there are trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body. There's no way of knowing exactly how many of Henrietta's cells are alive today. One scientist estimates that if you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons--an inconceivable number, given that an individual cell weighs almost nothing.
Another scientist calculated that if you could lay all HeLa cells ever grown end-to-end, they'd wrap around the Earth at least three times, spanning more than million feet. In her prime, Henrietta herself stood only a bit over five feet tall. I first learned about HeLa cells and the woman behind them in , thirty-seven years after her death, when I was sixteen and sitting in a community college biology class.
My instructor, Donald Defler, a gnomish balding man, paced at the front of the lecture hall and flipped on an overhead projector. He pointed to two diagrams that appeared on the wall behind him.
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They were schematics of the cell reproduction cycle, but to me they just looked like a neon-colored mess of arrows, squares, and circles with words I didn't understand, like "MPF Triggering a Chain Reaction of Protein Activations.
I'd transferred to an alternative school that offered dream studies instead of biology, so I was taking Defler's class for high-school credit, which meant that I was sitting in a college lecture hall at sixteen with words like mitosis and kinase inhibitors flying around.
I was completely lost.
Yes, Defler said, we had to memorize the diagrams, and yes, they'd be on the test, but that didn't matter right then. What he wanted us to understand was that cells are amazing things: There are about one She was named one of five surprising leaders of by the Washington Post. Skloot's debut book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly became a New York Times bestseller.
It was chosen as a best book of by more than sixty media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly , People , and the New York Times. It is being translated into more than twenty-five languages, adapted into a young reader edition, and being made into an HBO film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball.
Skloot is the founder and president of The Henrietta Lacks Foundation. She has a B. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. She lives in Chicago.
For more information, visit her website at RebeccaSkloot. Henrietta Lacks was a year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in Without her knowledge, doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her cervix for research.
They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously productive, cell line—known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments. Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no judgments. More titles may be available to you. Sign in now to see your library's full collection.
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Main Nav Subject Navigation. Featured Collections. Main Content. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca Skloot More creators She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in —became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. You mean the kind that stole her body parts in the first place?
How does this help the family of Henrietta Lacks? Too many people have already benefited from this unfortunate woman. I hope you never make a dime! You are as soul-less as your slave owning ancestors!
I think that commenter P 3 may underestimate the exploitation of Ms. Lacks and the Lacks family as well as the true contribution of Ms. One has to truly grasp the medical attitudes toward African Americans in the s, a history of mistreatment and exploitation that extends back to slave ships. That Ms. But one must follow this event and the subsequent actions of the medical establishment to secure further tissue samples and information from Lacks family members without any consideration, compassion, or simple common decency.
I would encourage P to read the book when it comes out and then reconsider if the Lacks family was not exploited.
As for the cells themselves, yes, yes, Ms. Lacks did not give up her tumor tissue because she intended for the cells to be propagated and studied worldwide — her tissue was taken to the lab unknowingly and without consent. But cultivation of the first immortalized human cell line opened the door to understanding how this could be done for more intractable cells in culture.
Go back and read some of the s papers by Ted Puck, Richard Ham, and Harry Eagle on the requirements for mammalian cell growth in vitro. How can one not feel compelled to honor her suffering and that of her family? For me, that is reason enough for this story to be told with reverence and respect.
So, if there was a consent form there would be no issue here, right? Lacks did not donate her tissues, so why she should be honored for something she had no cognizant involvement in initiating or developing. It was pure bad luck that her cells would grow well in vitro. She deserves as much or little recognition as the many thousands who have donated biopsies, tissues, organs or bodies either knowingly, or unknowingly to the advancement of science. But I think those Chinese hamsters deserve a biography, too.
They do a lot of the heavy lifting. Photos, videos, and more for teachers and students. Reading group guides, videos, photos, and more. Keep up-to-date on Rebecca's next book. Use our form for media inquiries, film rights,speaking engagements and to get in touch with Rebecca.
The Henrietta Lacks Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without their knowledge or consent.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a heroic work of cultural and medical journalism. And how much does a Twitter follower cost? A dollar badly spent: New facts on processed food in school lunches In a collaboration between The New York Times and the Investigative Fund, reporter Lucy Komisar delved into the billion-dollar business of the national school lunch program and found some unsettling news.
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