Essay On Henrietta Lacks

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells. When Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer her cells were taken without her consent. These cells, unlike most cells, did not die in culture. Over the years, they have been constantly replicating and are used in experiments all over the world. These cells are known as HeLa. HeLa cells contributed lots of scientific knowledge, but were also a curse to the Lacks family.
Key Idea 1: The Anatomy of Cells
Today, science textbooks everywhere are filled with the anatomy and structure of cells. We can credit much of this knowledge to HeLa. HeLa cells have allowed scientists to study cells in a more detailed way and gather information about cells impossible before HeLa. One contribution made by studying HeLa was the knowledge of how many chromosomes normal human cells have. This knowledge has allowed scientists to better understand and treat diseases and disorders that deal with irregular numbers of chromosomes. Many findings that help scientists better understand cells have been made with the help of HeLa.
Key Idea 2: Medical Field Many of the findings
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From the viewpoint of the Lacks family, HeLa has only brought pain. Henrietta’s cells became a great success to scientists everywhere, but the Lacks family was left with no mother or credit. While HeLa cells were off taking part in experiments, the Lacks family had no idea that a part of their mom was still alive. When they finally received word of Henrietta’s cells being used worldwide they were angry for receiving no credit or money. Reporters harassed the Lacks family to try and find information about the cells, but soon realized the Lacks family knew nothing about them. Skloot (the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”) later educated the Lacks family on the matter that was Henrietta’s
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