The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot
Publication Date: it's already out in hardcover, but I'm waiting for the paperback release which is in March 2011
The synopsis was super long, so I took out much of the middle portion, but if you'd like to read it in its entirety, you can HERE. I'm wanting to read this book because I'm a science geek and am totally fascinated by this.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.
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
What are you waiting on this week?