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:
The 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.
– posted by Brenda, Reference Services