With an introduction by author of The Tidal Zone, Sarah Moss Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells – taken without her knowledge – became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta’s family did not learn of her ‘immortality’ until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences . . . Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world for ever. Balancing the beauty and drama of scientific discovery with dark questions about who owns the stuff our bodies are made of, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an extraordinary journey in search of the soul and story of a real woman, whose cells live on today in all four corners of the world. Now a HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.
the immortal life of henrietta lacks
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How to Use This Book This book is to be used alongside the bestselling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot for anyone interested in learning about one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more, the HeLa cells. This is also the story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. For students: The study questions are in order and follow Rebecca Skloot s narrative. Answer questions as you read the book. Answers follow each question. For teachers: This is an easy and interesting resource to help your students learn about a specific tool used in medicine, the HeLa cell and how it originated and the impact its discovery had on medicine and the population. Use your own unique teaching style to supplement the Pembroke Notes with engaging activities and links for further investigating. With the new Common Core standards and a push to increased rigor, I have added a Writing Workshop section at the end of my book to help you with writing assignments. For homeschools: Your high school student will love the easy guide to help him/her in her reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Parents, be prepared for active discussions with your teenager while you read along. A Writing Workshop is supplied at the end of the book as a guide."
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book. Rebecca Skloot's book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" uncovers the riveting tale of an unknown woman whose cells became the basis for myriad advancements in medical science. Through Skloot's exhaustive journalistic research, the reader is forced to weigh the gravity of Henrietta Lacks story and its implications for society from both a moral and scientific standpoint. This SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis offers supplementary material to "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" to help you distill the key takeaways, review the book's content, and further understand the writing style and overall themes from an editorial perspective. Whether you'd like to deepen your understanding, refresh your memory, or simply decide whether or not this book is for you, SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is here to help. Absorb everything you need to know in under 20 minutes! What does this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis Include? An Executive Summary of the original book Editorial Review Key takeaways & analysis A short bio of the the authors Original Book Summary Overview Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in 1951, but her cells did not. Taken without her knowledge by the researchers at Johns Hopkins, the cells, known by the code name HeLa, became the ultimate scientific tool; they replicated and replicated, soon growing large enough to circle the earth more than three times. They were used to develop a polio vaccine, advance in vitro fertilization, research the causes of cancer and study countless other diseases and viruses. But Henrietta was buried in an unmarked grave in her rural hometown, where she had farmed the same land as her slave ancestors. Her family never received compensation for her scientific contribution-in fact, they only learned about it twenty years later, when a journalist arrived to interview them. Spanning decades of advancement and discovery, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is a story of science, ethics and race-and where they all collide. BEFORE YOU BUY: The purpose of this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is to help you decide if it's worth the time, money and effort reading the original book (if you haven't already). SUMOREADS has pulled out the essence-but only to help you ascertain the value of the book for yourself. This analysis is meant as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes give you just what you need to succeed in school: Complete Plot Summary and Analysis Key Facts About the Work Analysis of Major Characters Themes, Motifs, and Symbols Explanation of Important Quotations Author's Historical Context Suggested Essay Topics 25-Question Review Quiz The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks features explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols including: humanity; immortality and legacy; scientific racism; racialized poverty; hela cells; red nail polish. It also includes detailed analysis of these important characters: Deborah Lacks; Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot; George Gey.
So much to read, so little time? Get an in-depth summary of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the #1 bestseller about science, race, and medical ethics. For decades, scientists have been using “HeLa” cells in biological research, from developing the polio vaccine and studying the nature of cancer to observing how human biology behaves in outer space. This famous cell line began as a sample taken from a poor African American mother of five named Henrietta Lacks. A cancer patient, Henrietta Lacks went through medical testing but never gave consent for the use of her cells. She died of cervical cancer in 1951, without ever knowing that the samples were intended for extensive medical research. This summary of the #1 New York Times bestseller by Rebecca Skloot tells Henrietta’s story and reveals what happened when her family found out that her cells were being bought and sold in labs around the world. With historical context, character profiles, a timeline of key events, and other features, this summary and analysis of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 38-page guide for "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 38 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 10 important quotes, discussion topics, and key themes like Scientific Ethics and Informed Consent.
Amazon.com Review The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories? --_Tom Nissley _ Amazon Exclusive: Jad Abumrad Reviews The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Jad Abumrad is host and creator of the public radio hit Radiolab, now in its seventh season and reaching over a million people monthly. Radiolab combines cutting-edge production with a philosophical approach to big ideas in science and beyond, and an inventive method of storytelling. Abumrad has won numerous awards, including a National Headliner Award in Radio and an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Journalism Award. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Honestly, I can't imagine a better tale. A detective story that's at once mythically large and painfully intimate. Just the simple facts are hard to believe: that in 1951, a poor black woman named Henrietta Lacks dies of cervical cancer, but pieces of the tumor that killed her--taken without her knowledge or consent--live on, first in one lab, then in hundreds, then thousands, then in giant factories churning out polio vaccines, then aboard rocket ships launched into space. The cells from this one tumor would spawn a multi-billion dollar industry and become a foundation of modern science--leading to breakthroughs in gene mapping, cloning and fertility and helping to discover how viruses work and how cancer develops (among a million other things). All of which is to say: the science end of this story is enough to blow one's mind right out of one's face. But what's truly remarkable about The book ultimately channels its journey of discovery though Henrietta's youngest daughter, Deborah, who never knew her mother, and who dreamt of one day being a scientist. As Deborah Lacks and Skloot search for answers, we're bounced effortlessly from the tiny tobacco-farming Virginia hamlet of Henrietta's childhood to modern-day Baltimore, where Henrietta's family remains. Along the way, a series of unforgettable juxtapositions: cell culturing bumps into faith healings, cutting edge medicine collides with the dark truth that Henrietta's family can't afford the health insurance to care for diseases their mother's cells have helped to cure. Rebecca Skloot tells the story with great sensitivity, urgency and, in the end, damn fine writing. I highly recommend this book. --Jad Abumrad Look Inside The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Click on thumbnails for larger images Henrietta and David Lacks, circa 1945. Elsie Lacks, Henrietta’s older daughter, about five years before she was committed to Crownsville State Hospital, with a diagnosis of “idiocy.” Deborah Lacks at about age four. The home-house where Henrietta was raised, a four-room log cabin in Clover, Virginia, that once served as slave quarters. (1999) Main Street in downtown Clover, Virginia, where Henrietta was raised, circa 1930s. Margaret Gey and Minnie, a lab technician, in the Gey lab at Hopkins, circa 1951. Deborah with her children, LaTonya and Alfred, and her second husband, James Pullum, in the mid-1980s. In 2001, Deborah developed a severe case of hives after learning upsetting new information about her mother and sister. Deborah and her cousin Gary Lacks standing in front of drying tobacco, 2001. The Lacks family in 2009. From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about faith, science, journalism, and grace. It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism, poverty and the bond that grows, sometimes painfully, between two very different women—Skloot and Deborah Lacks—sharing an obsession to learn about Deborah's mother, Henrietta, and her magical, immortal cells. Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge, doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her cervix for research. They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously productive, cell line—known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments. What Skloot so poignantly portrays is the devastating impact Henrietta's death and the eventual importance of her cells had on her husband and children. Skloot's portraits of Deborah, her father and brothers are so vibrant and immediate they recall Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family. Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no judgments. Letting people and events speak for themselves, Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.