Henrietta Lacks Story Updated

This is an amazing scientific story. Perhaps this latest news and the upcoming film by Oprah Winfrey’s production company will spark a renewed interest in the book:

immortal life of henrietta lacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was/is an incredible story as told by Rebecca Skloot. If you haven’t read the book,  it details the life of an African Amercian woman. In 1951 while she was being treated at Johns Hopkins for cervical cancer, doctors took (without her permission or knowledge) a specimen. This tissue sample became the first human cancer-cell line that grew endlessly in culture.  These HeLa cells are used by scientists around the world for research on many diseases.

In March this year the HeLa genome was published in an open access database. This move was disturbing to the Lacks family. So a new method for access to the sequence data was needed.

lacks familyIf you missed the New York Times story, it’s here.  And here is the announcement from the NIH as published in Nature about the discussion and decision about accessing the information.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.