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First-Year Read: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Find The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks at:

UNCG University Libraries:
Call number RC265.6.L24 S55 2010

UNCG Libraries: (audio book)
Call number AUDIO CD SKL

Greensboro Public Libraries:
Hardcover, Overdrive audiobook, ebook
Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
Nook, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio



    This is a research and information guide to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Be sure to check out the links below or the tabs across the top for more content. If you have any questions, you can chat with us directly from the yellow Ask Us! boxes on this guide.

    Happy Reading!


    Henrietta Who?

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks but scientists know her as HeLa.

    "She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first 'immortal' human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer andviruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her 'immortality' until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of."
    From publisher description.

    Watch the book trailer with author Rebecca Skloot:

    HeLa cells

    © Omar Quintero 

    These HeLa cells were stained with special dyes that highlight specific parts of each cell. The DNA in the nucleus is yellow, the actin filaments are light blue and the mitochondria—the cell's power generators—are pink.



      Jenny Dale


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