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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge or consent, doctors took a sample of her cells and were able to create an immortal line of cells that could be constantly grown. These cells, known as HeLa, have used for a multitude of medical advancements and have even been sent into space. As others made fortunes selling her cells, her impoverished family was unaware that they even existed. Rebecca Skloot explores the use of these cells, the fear and racism originally involved, and tells of the lives of Henrietta and her descendants. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has received positive reviews with Salon.com saying, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a heroic work of cultural and medical journalism. With it, Skloot reminds doctors, patients and outside observers that however advanced the technology and esoteric the science, the material they work with is humanity, and every piece of it is precious."