Ever heard of Ms. Henrietta Lacks?

Standard

Courtesy of the Lacks Family

Well we should have. Research on her cells have saved millions of lives.

Ms. Henrietta Lacks’ cells are now known to the world as HeLa cells. HeLa cells are cells derived from a cell line harvested from Ms. Lacks cervical cancer tumor in 1951, without her knowledge. Her cells have been tested on repeatedly for  59 years and counting because they have never stopped dividing and reproducing.

HeLa cells are credited towards the development of the polio vaccine and scientific breakthroughs, such as cloning, in vitro fertilization, chemotherapy, and gene mapping. HeLa cells were also used in the first space missions to study the effect of zero gravity on cells.

The story of Henrietta Lacks and her descendents can be found in a new book by author Rebecca Skloot, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Henrietta-Lacks-Immortal-Cells.html

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123232331

Advertisements

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s