The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootTitle: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author: Rebecca Skloot

Call #: 616.0277 SKL

In the 1940’s, scientists routinely took tissue from patients who underwent surgery.  The hope was that they would find cells that would continue to multiple outside the body but it wasn’t until they removed cancerous cells from a poor, southern black woman that they succeeded.  Henrietta’s cells were used to develop a polio vaccine, to learn more about cancer and were bought and sold by the billions.  Skloot tells a compelling story about the Lacks family today, who didn’t find out about their mother’s cells until years later, as well as the scientific odyssey of Henrietta’s cells which are still in use today.  Social and scientific history melded into a very readable, fascinating story.

Recommended by: Kathy

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