Henrietta Lacks by: Emma Copeland

Henrietta Lacks was born on August 1st, 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia. On January 29th, 1951, she went to the John Hopkins hospital, the only hospital that treated black patients, and explained to the doctor that she felt a knot in her womb. The doctors took a look at her uterus and what they saw was a golf ball sized knot on her cervix. She died on October 4th, 1951 in the John Hopkins hospital at the age of 31.

Henrietta Lacks

Before she had died, the doctors took cells from the tumor on her cervix, without Henrietta ever knowing, and conducted experiments and research on them. They soon became the most powerful and fast-growing cells. After she died they took more cells from her body when they did an autopsy. They named her cells HeLa.

The doctor who took her cells, George Otto Gey, made a lot of money from Henrietta's cells by selling them to doctors and scientists around the world. The cells helped develop a lot of scientific breakthroughs such as the polio vaccine and research into cancer and AIDS.

A HeLa cell is an immortal cell line that was taken from a cervical cancer patient, Henrietta Lacks on February 8th, 1951. They were the first "immortal" human cells which meant they did not die after cell division, they kept growing. HeLa cells are important to science because they have helped doctors conduct research and even helped developed the polio vaccine.

1912- Alexis Carrel claims to have successfully grown "immortal" chicken-heart cells. This was significant in science because it was the spark of interest in immortal cells.

1952- HeLa cells become the first living cells shipped via postal mail. Important to science because it helped send the cells all over the world to develop scientific breakthroughs all around the world.

1952- Scientists help use HeLa cells to develop the polio vaccine. This helped people with polio get better because of the HeLa cells.

1953- HeLa cells become the first cells ever cloned. Helped make scientific breakthroughs because they now had an unlimited supply of HeLa cells.

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