The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot (2011) [Amazon]

An aside in this 2018 story about tasmanian devils dying of contagious cancer made me Google HeLa cells, the most commonly used cell line in scientific research. The search led me to Rebecca Skloot’s book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which I finished over the Christmas break. It’s an amazing dive into both the controversial history of an important tool in medicine and Lacks’ family, who are still dealing with the consequences of the spread of Henrietta’s cells around the world without her permission.

(NRB - 01/08/2020)