In hundreds of research labs around the world, including within my own Department, scientists carry out experiments using a human cell line known as “HeLa”. Most cells die after a defined period of time, but mutations within the HeLa cells have allowed them to continue dividing outside of these normal contraints, and as such they are said to be “immortal”. The original tissue sample from which HeLa cells are derived was taken from the cancerous cervix of an African-American woman Henrietta Lacks (the name of the cell line being an abbreviation of her name).
4 Comments | Clinical ethics, Human tissue usage, Online clips, Research ethics, Streamed video | Tagged: Adam Curtis, cancer, Chester Southam, consent, George Gey, HeLa, Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot, syphilis, The Way of All Flesh, Tuskagee Institute, Wellcome | Permalink
Posted by Chris Willmott