Thursday, November 24, 2011

Henrietta Lacks’ ‘Immortal’ Cells 
Journalist Rebecca Skloot’s new book investigates how a poor black tobacco farmer had a groundbreaking impact on modern medicine
 
By Sarah Zielinski, Smithsonian.com, January 22, 2010
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Henrietta Lacks was a black tobacco farmer from southern Virginia who got cervical cancer when she was 30. A doctor at Johns Hopkins took a piece of her tumor without telling her and sent it down the hall to scientists there who had been trying to grow tissues in culture for decades without success. No one knows why, but her cells never died.

Henrietta’s cells were the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture. They were essential to developing the polio vaccine. They went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to cells in zero gravity. Many scientific landmarks since then have used her cells, including cloning, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization.


My note:  Here's a story that begs for a bio-pic.  Why another sports movie when these stories beg to be told? 

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