Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

11 Jun

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

From the author’s website: Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.

This is one of the most thoroughly researched and comprehensive books I have ever read…and yet the author managed to keep it interesting for the average reader when it easily could have turned into textbook-type reading material.  Regardless of your interest in science, this book is absolutely fascinating.  Even though she made some extremely questionable choices (~scary!) during her quest for this family’s history, bravo to Rebecca Skloot for not giving up and for telling a story that everyone should know.

(Thanks to my mom for sending me this book.  She knew I would love it!)


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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Books, Reviews


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