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The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

How one woman's cells changed scientific thinking forever.

By Rebecca Skloot
18-minute read
Audio available
The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a poor tobacco farmer who died from cervical cancer, and her cell strand, HeLa, which scientists used to develop a cure for polio and other diseases. In a fascinating and revealing investigation, author Rebecca Skloot uncovers the history of Henrietta and her family, of the exploitation of black Americans by the medical industry, and of Henrietta’s immortal cells.

  • Anyone interested in the history of medicine
  • Anyone interested in the history of the relationship between black Americans and the US medical industry

Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Discover and others. She has also worked as a correspondent for NPR and PBS. In 2010, Skloot sold the film rights for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to Alan Ball and Oprah Winfrey.

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