[QODLink]
The Cure

Unsung Hero: Henrietta Lacks

Nothing lives forever, except perhaps a young woman's cells, a gift to science that continues giving.

Last Modified: 03 Jun 2013 14:53
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Henrietta Lacks died from cervical cancer in 1951, but over the past half century she has made an unparalleled contribution to medical science.

This is because while Henrietta is long dead, her cells live on.

When she was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA, the doctor George Gey found that while regular human cells only divide around 50 times before they die, those in Henrietta’s tumour went on dividing indefinitely.

No one knows why.

Her immortal cells have gone on to help develop a polio vaccine and have been pivotal in research into HIV and the effects of radiation.

 

 

Watch The Cure on Tuesday 22:30; Wednesday 09:30; Thursday 03:30; Friday 16:30; Saturday 22:30; Sunday 09:30; Monday 03:30; Tuesday 16:30 GMT. 

Join the conversation on Facebook and on Twitter

187

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list