An Update on 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks'

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book.jpgHenrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer who died in 1951 of cervical cancer. Unknown to her or her family, her cancer cells were saved and eventually used by scientists in 70 thousand experiments that created the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, live saving cancer drugs and other breakthroughs. Earlier this year, German scientists published a genetic map of her cells. Her family objected, citing privacy concerns. Now they've struck an historic agreement with the National Institutes of Health, where they will have a say in how the cells are used. The remarkable story is told in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.