2010: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot
Medical scientists have used the HeLa cell line extensively in medical testing over the past 60 years. This book examines the woman behind the cells, Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman from 1950s Baltimore, and her family. Intimate interviews with Henrietta’s descendants as well as prominent scientists involved in both the extraction and cultivation of HeLa cells produce a multi-layered story of ethics, racial issues, and medical research politics. This work is significant for highlighting the human side of medical research and examining questions of both the legal and spiritual side of individual ownership of one’s cells.