Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2017 by Angie Han
Even if you’ve never heard of Henrietta Lacks, there’s a good chance she’s impacted your life in some way. In 1951, while Lacks was undergoing treatment for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital, her cells were harvested without her knowledge or consent and used to create HeLa cell line. While Lacks herself passed away that same year, her cells have lived on, aiding in many medical breakthroughs including the polio vaccine.
While the scientific community has been aware of Lacks’ unwitting contribution for decades, her story became much more widely known to the general public in 2010 thanks to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a nonfiction tome by Rebecca Skloot. Now it’s going the way of many other bestselling books, and becoming a movie. Oprah Winfrey leads HBO’s feature film as Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, and Rose Byrne as Skloot. Hamilton‘s Renée Elise Goldsberry plays Henrietta. Watch the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks trailer below. Read More »