The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

The author did a remarkable job with this book. Researching and writing for 10 years, Skloot incorporates the 20th century stories of African American society and the migration from the rural South to urban areas as reflected in the Lacks family, medicine and its treatment of black and white patients, and the medical research which was made possible by the Hela cells originally cultured from cancerous tissue taken from Henrietta Lacks and grown in George Gey’s tissue culture research laboratory at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. In addition, Rebecca interviewed and helped Henrietta’s family learn about the life of their mother and grandmother who had died when her own children were very young, and the contribution the Hela cell line has made to medical research in such areas as the polio vaccine, HIV, human genetics and the development of chemotherapy drugs.

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RATING: * * * * Very, very good
Reviewed by: kh


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