The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
This latest release of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the must read and the pundits, scholars or even the armchair critics would share a consensus with me for you to have it, and to top it all it was awarded the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. It also won the Heartland Prize for non-fiction, a Salon Book Award, selected as one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, and chosen as a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Books of 2010 which definitely bears the testimony that it has rose above the odds to remain ever popular and appealing in today’s time. Basically, the book is a non-fiction book and mainly depicts the life and times of Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line, known as HeLa that came from her cervical cancer cells in 1951. The book is notable for its accessible science writing and dealing with ethical issues of race and class in medical research. On February 1, 1951, just days after a march for a cure for polio in New York City, Lacks visited Johns Hopkins because of a painful "knot" in her cervix and a bloody vaginal discharge. After a biopsy, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The appearance of the tumor was unlike anything that had ever been seen by the examining gynecologist Dr. Howard Jones who, with his wife Georgeanna, would go on to found the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Norfolk, Virginia's Eastern Virginia Medical School. Even today, the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot
has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?
To catch all of the riveting and unsaid story of the medicinal fiction or experiment so to say of “HeLa”, I delegate you to have yourself an exclusive copy of this book by simply logging in to SA’s largest online shopping site wantitall.co.za that has it going at the unbeatable price you wouldn’t dare like you to pass by.