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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 05, 2009 – Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about faith, science, journalism, and grace. It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism, poverty and the bond that grows, sometimes painfully, between two very different women Skloot and Deborah Lacks sharing an obsession to learn about Deborah s mother, Henrietta, and her magical, immortal cells. Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge, doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her cervix for research. They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously productive, cell line known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments. What Skloot so poignantly portrays is the devastating impact Henrietta s death and the eventual importance of her cells had on her husband and children. Skloot s portraits of Deborah, her father and brothers are so vibrant and immediate they recall Adrian Nicole LeBlanc s Random Family. Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no judgments. Letting people and events speak for themselves, Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society s most vulnerable people.

Customer Reviews

Amazing!

I learned things about science and cell culture I never knew. While the book addresses the importance of understanding tissue culture - and who actually owns your cells once they leave your body - the human approach to Henrietta's life and contribution make it easily readable. I doubt there is hardly anyone alive today who's life has not been touched by Henrietta (through the cell lines), in some way. It really made me pause and say, Thank You......

The immortal life of Henrietta lacks

loved it! An amazing mix of science and a poignant story. Had my interest the entire ride!

Grateful

Could not put it down! This book made me think differently about medical research and who owns tissues once they are removed. I also feel grateful to the Lacks family. I'm still thinking how my daughter will never have cervical cancer because of Henrietta Lacks.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Life Sciences
  • Published: Feb 02, 2010
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings