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Thursday, February 2, 2012

'Henrietta Lacks': A Donor's Immortal Legacy

Henrietta Lacks died in 1951 of cervical cancer; aged 31 years, and the mother of 5 children.  Yet, at the same time, she has continued to live by her unknown donation to the medical field.  Her legacy is one of healing.  That is why I have chosen to have Henrietta Lacks as our first Black History Month post, for her contributions to humankind over the past 60 years.

Henrietta's legacy is the HeLa cell. According to Wikipedia, "HeLa cell (also Hela or hela cell) is a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line.  The line was derived from cervical cancer cells taken on February 8, 1951, from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who eventually died of her cancer on October 4, 1951. The cell line was found to be remarkably durable and prolific as illustrated by its contamination of many other cell lines used in research."  It has also been used for research and development of treatments and cures for numerous diseases.  

To learn more about this woman's remarkable story, visit-
'Henrietta Lacks': A Donor's Immortal Legacy : NPR:

'via Blog this'

or watch...

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