Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot Review

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks has been in outer space and attached to an atom bomb but how is this possible when the woman died in 1951? This is a biography of the woman who changed the world after she died; it is a terrific blend of biography and science telling the story of He.La. the cells that were removed from Henrietta Lacks when she went into Johns Hopkins complaining of a lump in her abdomen, once they were studied it turned out that the cells continued to multiply and grow allowing researchers for years to make incredible breakthroughs in science.
Rebecca Skloot immerses us completely not just with the science of cell study but also the life of Henrietta and even her children in the years after her death. The things her family went through after Henrietta’s death are horrible but, I cannot help but feel thankful for the woman whose death made the polio vaccine possible, helped with advances in in vitro fertilization, and even gene mapping. This is definitely worth the read to know how much was sacrificed in the process and to be able to fully appreciate He.La.

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