Rebecca Skloot | Books & Literature » Non-Fiction

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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08 JAN 2020

Brady Moore

Why is this interesting? - The Iran Edition

An exploration into the controversial history of HeLa cells, used widely in scientific research, and the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family.

13 MAR 2020

Noah Brier

Why is this interesting? - The Car Horn Edition

A book by Rebecca Skloot about the story of Henrietta Lacks.

The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is about the life, death, and family life of a woman named Henrietta. When she turned 30 she developed an aggressive form of cervical cancer and received treatment at John Hopkins hospital. However as they were treating her the doctor took a slice of her tumor and put it into a tube for testing. They did this with a lot of people back then all without patient consent. The doctor, specifically Gey Gardener, wanted to make an immortal cell line that didn’t die like the rest. Usually a day or two after they took the sample, it died. However Henrietta’s cells lived and continued to grow in as much space and they gave it. Though thought of as a fluke at first, her cells continue to divide to this day and is used in almost every laboratory. Because of their widespread nature, it is amazing how not many people know about the woman behind the cells. This is why the author decided to write this book. While the topic alone is amazing, the author made it even better by making the book easy to understand, exploring the ethics of the doctor patient relationship, and incorporating Henrietta’s family.

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