Features of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF-Now a major motion picture from HBO starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.
One of the “most influential” (CNN), “defining” (Lit Hub), and “best” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) books of the decade.
One of essence’s 50 most impactful Black books of the past 50 years.
Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, O: The Oprah Magazine, NPR, Financial Times, New York, Independent (UK), Times (UK), Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Globe, and Mail.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells – taken without her knowledge – became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than 20 years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family – past and present – is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family – especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
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Rebecca L. Skloot /ˈskluːt/ (born September 19, 1972) is an American science writer who specializes in science and medicine. Her first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), was one of the best-selling new books of 2010, staying on The New York Times Bestseller list for over 6 years and eventually reaching #1. It was adapted into a movie by George C. Wolfe, which premiered on HBO on April 22, 2017, and starred Rose Byrne as Skloot, and Oprah Winfrey as Lacks’s daughter Deborah
Early life and education
Rebecca was born in Springfield, Illinois. She is the daughter of poet, novelist, and essayist Floyd Skloot and Betsy McCarthy, a professional knitter and pattern book author. Skloot said “in the Pacific Northwest, [her] roots [are] half New York Jew and half Midwestern Protestant.” She received her high school diploma from Metropolitan Learning Center in Portland, Oregon. After attending Portland Community College and becoming a Veterinary Technician, she received a BS in biological sciences from Colorado State University, and an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle.
She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Pittsburgh, New York University, and the University of Memphis.
Skloot has published over 200 featured stories and essays. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Discover, and New York magazine. Skloot is also a contributing editor at Popular Science and has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW.
Her first book, the #1 New York Times bestselling The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), is about Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line (known as HeLa) that came from her cancer cells in 1951. It was named a New York Times notable book, and selected as a best book of the year by more than 60 publications. It was made into an HBO film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball with Rose Byrne portraying Skloot.
In reviewing the book, Karen Long quotes Skloot and describes the long process to find a publisher: “The Lackses challenged everything I thought I knew about faith, science, journalism and race,” Skloot writes in her prologue. Stubbornly, she put a decade into telling this story, learning as much from the family as she was able to dig up herself. The book went through three publishing houses and four editors.” Skloot and Henrietta’s daughter Deborah formed a link in the writing of this book, which Deborah sees as her mother’s hand guiding them.
Her second book, exploring the science and ethics of human–animal relationships, was put under contract with Crown Publishing Group in 2011. Her past work with animals in shelters, as a vet tech, in research facilities, and at an animal morgue prompted her interest in the ethical controversies surrounding animal use for science. She discussed the topics of the book at the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2013. She spoke with researchers at Harvard University about it in 2015
Dimensions and Characteristics of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF
Listening Length 12 hours and 30 minutes Author Rebecca Skloot Narrator Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin Whispersync for Voice Ready Audible.com Release Date February 02, 2010 Publisher Random House Audio Program Type Audiobook Version Unabridged Language English Identification Number B0036UZCRM
- Book Name : The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF
Bccaly “I ordered this book to read for one of my Ethics classes. I was worried about so much assigned reading to complete in one week, but it turned out to be a book that you just can’t put down.
It still amazes me that this is a woman’s real life story, the story of her family, and how they have impacted science and anyone who works or benefits from the use of cellular research. That means just about every single person is connected to Henrietta in one way or another.
This was a great book that I’m so glad I read. I learned a lot and it kept me entertained and fascinated for days. It will really change your perspective and make you appreciate this woman’s contribution to our scientific and health fields.”
ELAINE BUCKLEY “I was mesmerized by this book.
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman suffering from severe abdominal pain and bleeding, entered Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital, where the wards were still segregated, and the care of Black patients was rumored to be inferior to that accorded Whites. Baltimore’s Black community even claimed that Hopkins kidnapped people in the dead of night, right off the city’s streets, to serve as unwilling subjects of gruesome research projects. Unsurprisingly, Black patients like Henrietta went to Hopkins only when they were critically ill or dying.
Henrietta was quickly diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer. During her radium treatments, cells from Henrietta’s cervix were harvested and given—without her true understanding, her family would later maintain—to Dr. George Gey, a Hopkins researcher who was trying to create the world’s first line of immortal cells, or cells that could regenerate themselves indefinitely.
Dr. Gey was successful and the HeLa cells were born. The immortal HeLa cells became a medical miracle that would give rise to life-saving drugs like the polio vaccine and various cancer therapies.
Within weeks of her entering Hopkins, Henrietta died, and her name was quickly lost to history. Some later articles said her real name was Helen Lane, but there was little immediate interest in discovering the true identify or life story of the woman behind the HeLa cells. Her husband and children were left uninformed even as to her diagnosis and had no idea what happened to her during the autopsy that Dr. Gey performed.
At the heart of Rebecca Skloot’s story is the desperate longing of Henrietta’s children to know who their mother really was. Skloot focuses on daughter Deborah, who has only a lock of her mother’s hair, a treasured possession that she keeps in the family Bible. Deborah pursues obtaining official recognition of her mother’s contribution to science and worries that her mother’s cells experience pain in the research she imagines as inflicted upon them.
Henrietta had been born in Clover, VA, in the home-house that had served as her ancestors’ slave cabin. She was a wife, a loving mother to four children, a woman who adored dancing, and a caretaker in both her family and her community. In her life, her greatest journey was from Clover to Baltimore’s Turner Station neighborhood, but her cells would travel to outer space on rockets, studying the impact of space travel on human beings.
The HeLA cells were harvested and grown just before the birth of the Civil Rights movement, and at the confluence of so many issues: healthcare parity for impoverished, minority, and disadvantaged patients; medical privacy; and especially, informed consent. Her husband and children have long maintained that Henrietta never donated her cells. They wonder why her cells could jump start a multi-billion-dollar industry, while they themselves could never even obtain health insurance. Most poignantly, they struggle even to pay for the hearing aids they need to treat their congenital deafness.
Fans of nonfiction and medical science histories will love this book. I certainly did.”
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