The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Analysis Paper

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Introduction Rebecca Skloot, the author, was only a student when she first heard about Henrietta Lacks in a biology class to fulfill a high school science requirement. It was her first step to search the real and unknown story of a black woman, Henrietta Lacks, whose name was not known by anybody. The cells, which were taken from her and called HeLa cells in science literature, were very different from the other ones due to these cells did not die even after a cell division. Because of this characteristic, scientist developed the first immortal cell line. Thus, the HeLa cells became one of the crucial research materials for health and genetic science studies such as developing the polio vaccine, cloning, and gene mapping. Nobody interested in the entire history of the HeLa cells, which are “very little living parts” of the human body. However, Rebecca Skloot, preferred to follow the traces of HE(nrietta) LA(cks) cells. The Brief Story of Henrietta Lacks and HeLa Cells The story of Henrietta Lacks began, in 1920, in Virginia with her birth. However, her real story that makes her known began in 1951 when she felt “a knot on her womb”. She went to Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was the closest hospital to them that treated black patients, and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. At first, she and her friends thought that Henrietta’s these symptoms were the result of her last pregnancy. Unfortunately, the case was not as simple as they thought, and some abnormal bleedings had started. During her treatments at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, two tissue samples were taken from Henrietta’s cervix and sent to Dr. George Gey by Lawrence Wharton without Henrietta’s permission. Dr. Gey and Margeret, his wife and head of the tissue culture lab, had been trying to develop an immortal cell line for a long time. Dr Gey noticed that the cells of Henrietta Lacks were successfully

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