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Tue, Jun 18, 2024
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot : A Panel Discussion of Biology, Bioethics and Culturally Competent Health Care

Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old black mother of five, migrated to Baltimore from the tobacco farms of Virginia. She is known to scientists as HeLa (the method used to identify human cells using the first two letters of the first and last name). Her cervical cells, taken from her without her knowledge or consent, became the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture and are still alive today (even though Henrietta died in 1951). These cells are famous world wide, while Henrietta is relatively unknown and buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold the world-over; contributed to the discoveries of the polio vaccine and AIDS treatments; and lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization and gene mapping. Join this discussion of the amazing contributions of the HeLa cells as well as the astonishing consequences.

Location: UC Redhawks Room
Contact: Bobbi J. Palmer
(573) 651-5902
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