Black People : The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Amnat77, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    When Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cancer in 1951, doctors took her cells and grew them in test tubes. Those cells led to breakthroughs in everything from Parkinson's to polio. But today, Henrietta is all but forgotten. In an excerpt from her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot tells her story.


    In 1951, at the age of 30, Henrietta Lacks, the descendant of freed slaves, was diagnosed with cervical cancer—a strangely aggressive type, unlike any her doctor had ever seen. He took a small tissue sample without her knowledge or consent. A scientist put that sample into a test tube, and, though Henrietta died eight months later, her cells—known worldwide as HeLa—are still alive today. They became the first immortal human cell line ever grown in culture and one of the most important tools in medicine: Research on HeLa was vital to the development of the polio vaccine, as well as drugs for treating herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson's disease; it helped uncover the secrets of cancer and the effects of the atom bomb, and led to important advances like cloning, in vitro fertilization, and gene mapping. Since 2001 alone, five Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research involving HeLa cells.

    There's no way of knowing exactly how many of Henrietta's cells are alive today. One scientist estimates that if you could pile all the HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons—the equivalent of at least 100 Empire State Buildings.

    Today, nearly 60 years after Henrietta's death, her body lies in an unmarked grave in Clover, Virginia. But her cells are still among the most widely used in labs worldwide—bought and sold by the billions. Though those cells have done wonders for science, Henrietta—whose legacy involves the birth of bioethics and the grim history of experimentation on African-Americans—is all but forgotten.


    http://www.oprah.com/world/Excerpt-From-The-Immortal-Life-of-Henrietta-Lacks_1
     
  2. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ''There's no way of knowing exactly how many of Henrietta's cells are alive today. One scientist estimates that if you could pile all the HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons—the equivalent of at least 100 Empire State Buildings.''

    Goddess is rising:court:
     
  3. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  4. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :geek:....somebody needs to go to jail.....
     
  5. lilblackgod

    lilblackgod New Member MEMBER

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    That's us "they" experimenting on. We running this tihs!! :cool:
     
  6. blackeyes

    blackeyes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wow! I really don't understand why her family hasn't sued The Tuskegee Institute or Johns Hopkins or somebody. wth?
    and they can't even afford health insurance...

    I am shocked that she even had access to health care...but I guess that was apart of the experimentation. iono

    I guess tuskegee was like the island of dr. moreau. Shame!
     
  7. Ajna Wisdom

    Ajna Wisdom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I believe her cells were used for the creation of the so called A.I.D.S virus.
     
  8. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :thinking:
     
  9. Chevron Dove

    Chevron Dove Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wow! That is amazing.

    i vaguely recall that all of the medicines made to cure sicknesses with bacteria medicines came about on a similar wise. Cells were taken from a girl, although I don't know if they made any comments on the particular girl.

    It is so interesting that it was said that it is still a mystery as to why her cells kept reproducing as opposed to the many other cells they collected from others died. I knew a European-American Jewish girl that once shared with me her family's personal horror stories about the Jews being used as guinea pigs during the world wars and this story makes me think about that and also how many Blacks have been done so as well that have yet to be brought foward.

    Amazing!
     
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