Monday, November 12, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is by Rebecca Skloot. In the 1950s, without her knowledge or permission, doctors took cells from Henrietta's cervical cancer tumor and discovered the cells were immortal when cultured. Henrietta's cells, known to scientists as HeLa, have been instrumental in innumerable scientific discoveries over the decades. Rebecca Skloot decided to write a book about Henrietta and her cells and discovered a story very different from the one she intended to write. This book reads more like a novel than a scientific treatise. It is totally understandable and brings into focus both the scientific and ethical issues surrounding HeLa and the effect her cells had on science and the family she left behind. A magnificent book, well worth the read!

Ratings: 10th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

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