Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This was a fascinating story. Anyone who has ever worked in a lab and looked at cultured cells under a microscope has probably seen the HeLa cells. They are the most cultured and utilized cells in science. They have been sent into space, irradiated, implanted into all sorts of lab animals as well as humans (both knowingly and not). This book is the story of those cells and the person from whom they originated.

Rebecca Skloot spent years researching the information in this book as well as getting to know the family of Henrietta Lacks and, most importantly, gaining their trust.

This book covers the personal histories of Henrietta Lacks and her children. It also talks a great deal about the scientific advancements that could not have been made save for the HeLa cells. The science is presented in a very accessible manner and the story of the people involved is engaging.

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