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Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


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"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" unravels an intriguing and highly impactful story at the intersection of scientific discovery and ethical dilemmas. The book chronicles the life and legacy of a poor black tobacco farmer, Henrietta Lacks, whose cells — taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine. Known as HeLa cells, they were vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. HeLa cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet Lacks remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance.

Rebecca Skloot intricately investigates the dramatic life of Henrietta Lacks and her unwitting contribution to science, digging deep into the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we're made of. Simultaneously, she paints a moving portrait of Lacks's daughter, Deborah, consumed with questions about the mother she never knew and the medical research that used her mother's cells.

This book is a remarkable journey through medical and social history, uncovering profound truths about race, ethics, and the unfathomable connections between scientific advancement and individual lives.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


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