African American History Culture : Henrietta Lacks' Immortal Cells

Queenie

going above and beyond
PREMIUM MEMBER
Feb 9, 2001
7,136
2,064
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
View More Photos »

Henrietta Lacks' cells were essential in developing the polio vaccine and were used in scientific landmarks such as cloning, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization.Courtesy of the Lacks family


Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.
Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
 

Clyde C Coger Jr

going above and beyond
PREMIUM MEMBER
Nov 17, 2006
59,483
11,942
www.amazon.com
Occupation
Speaker/Teacher/Author
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
View More Photos »

Henrietta Lacks' cells were essential in developing the polio vaccine and were used in scientific landmarks such as cloning, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization.Courtesy of the Lacks family


Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?

Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
NNQueen


In the Spirit of Thread Consolidation,


Space
Discussion in 'Black Astrology' started by Caya, Today at 1:34 AM

https://destee.com/threads/space.86997/


I just think we need to really do some critical thinking here and please don't think that I am crazy. Have you all heard of Hela Cells? If not look it up very very important. When I buy my first home I want to set up a lab in my garage and prove this theory that I have about our melanin. Also in ultraviolet light sunscreen is black. Meaning it is false Melanin. I also believe they are killing us because they need us to survive. Once we die we are grinded up and turned into sunscreen. Right now they are putting Hela cells in space. I think this is one of the secrets they do not want us to know. That is why they try to keep blacks away from biochemical engineering jobs and such.

Caya, Today at 2:42 AM


...



 
Last edited:

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
S Black Women : The Immortal Black Woman: Henrietta Lacks Black Women 3
Amnat77 Black People : The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Black People Open Forum 8
OldSoul Black People : In 1870, Henrietta Wood Sued for Reparations—and Won! Black People Open Forum 1
Chief Elder Osiris Chief Elder Osiris : THE AFRIKAN LACKS INTELLECTUAL PROWESS Chief Elder Osiris 0
D Black Education / Schools : Nursing school lacks professors Black Education / Schools 3
H Black Poetry : Immortal Star Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 1
1poetsought Black Poetry : Immortal Jazz Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
Alarm Clock Audio Video Web Conferencing : Immortal Technique; The Third World Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
Ankhur Audio Video Web Conferencing : destee.tv: Immortal Technique, Poverty of Philosophy Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
E Black People : Immortal Technique Speaks Out Black People Open Forum 1
Ankhur Audio Video Web Conferencing : destee.tv: immortal Technique, 4th Branch Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
Ankhur Black People : Immortal Technique at Occupy Wall st Black People Open Forum 0
Ankhur Black People : Immortal Technique's comments on Foreign Policy Black People Open Forum 12
King Tubbs Black People : Immortal Technique --"as if my people history started wit slavery"- Leaving the Past Black People Open Forum 8
Sha'iyn Black Entertainment : the undeniable, untouchable, universally-accepted, angelic, amazing and immortal... Black Entertainment 0
K Black Entertainment : Immortal Technique Black Entertainment 1

Latest profile posts

Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
I am looking for participants in a study to share their experiences as former African American males served as ED/EBD/BD in the southeast. Participants ages 18-35 will be interviewed and given the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and impressions of their school years. If interested or for more information please contact me directly. Thanks, Cheryl
Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
Thank you for the welcome. I have a question. I am a doctorate student in need of participants for my study. Is it allowable to post a request for study participants. If so, this is the post that would be uploaded:
Let's us all remember in 2021 to protect our energy and to do the best we can to grow and evolve.
Queen Destee im back still showing lo e after what 20+ yrs? You know always stop through from time to time
Destee wrote on rhymebad's profile.
@rhymebad ... i love you ... :love: ... what was going wrong about polls and being blocked and stuff?
Top