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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-logo

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family-past and present-is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed

Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family-past and present-is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed
More Information

Description:

Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family-past and present-is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed

Language:

English

Narrators:

Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

Length:

12h 31m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

23:11


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

10:56


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

22:01


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

16:14


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

17:31


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

16:25


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

15:51


Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 7

15:05


Part 1, Chapter 8
Part 1, Chapter 8

09:10


Part 1, Chapter 9
Part 1, Chapter 9

22:32


Part 1, Chapter 10
Part 1, Chapter 10

14:26


Part 1, Chapter 11
Part 1, Chapter 11

07:39


Part 2, Chapter 12
Part 2, Chapter 12

09:29


Part 2, Chapter 13
Part 2, Chapter 13

28:52


Part 2, Chapter 14
Part 2, Chapter 14

09:31


Part 2, Chapter 15
Part 2, Chapter 15

18:19


Part 2, Chapter 16
Part 2, Chapter 16

20:46


Part 2, Chapter 17
Part 2, Chapter 17

22:28


Part 2, Chapter 18
Part 2, Chapter 18

15:53


Part 2, Chapter 19
Part 2, Chapter 19

17:01


Part 2, Chapter 20
Part 2, Chapter 20

11:58


Part 2, Chapter 21
Part 2, Chapter 21

28:26


Part 2, Chapter 22
Part 2, Chapter 22

16:06


Part 3, Chapter 23
Part 3, Chapter 23

26:10


Part 3, Chapter 24
Part 3, Chapter 24

17:20


Part 3, Chapter 25
Part 3, Chapter 25

17:38


Part 3, Chapter 26
Part 3, Chapter 26

11:44


Part 3, Chapter 27
Part 3, Chapter 27

14:45


Part 3, Chapter 28
Part 3, Chapter 28

32:04


Part 3, Chapter 29
Part 3, Chapter 29

19:11


Part 3, Chapter 30
Part 3, Chapter 30

20:45


Part 3, Chapter 31
Part 3, Chapter 31

20:27


Part 3, Chapter 32
Part 3, Chapter 32

21:32


Part 3, Chapter 33
Part 3, Chapter 33

26:54


Part 3, Chapter 34
Part 3, Chapter 34

14:49


Part 3, Chapter 35
Part 3, Chapter 35

20:22


Part 3, Chapter 36
Part 3, Chapter 36

06:33


Part 3, Chapter 37
Part 3, Chapter 37

17:46


Part 3, Chapter 38
Part 3, Chapter 38

13:22


Part 3, Chapter 39
Part 3, Chapter 39

05:11


Part 3, Chapter 40
Part 3, Chapter 40

35:14


Part 3, Chapter 41
Part 3, Chapter 41

18:55


Part 3, Chapter 42
Part 3, Chapter 42

00:32