Henrietta Lacks By Gary Nichols

  • 1952 Hela cells become the first living cells shipped in the post mail. They are also the first immortal cells.
  • 1952 Scientist develop a polio vaccine using Hela, this is the first to come of many discoveries thanks to Hela.
  • 1966 Gartler drops the Hela bomb and shocks many scientist.
  • The lacks family learns of Hela's commercialization from a Rolling Stone article.
  • 1984-1991 John Moore learn of the commercialization of his cells by his doctor. Attempts to sue his doctor but in the end loses.
Henrietta and HeLa

HeLa is the first immortal human cell to be cultured. It is a cancer cell from Henrietta lacks. This led to many important discoveries that still benefit us today.

For most of their lives Henrietta's children blamed the doctors for her death and believe that Hopkins made money off Hela. They believe that they at least deserve money since they are their mothers cells.

Just as cell culture was kicking off with Hela a huge "bomb" was dropped on it all. Stanley Gartler announced in front of many cell culture scientists that he had discovered that Hela had contaminated many popular cell lines and cell banks. This means that any research done with those cells lines is may be illegitimate and could have been a waste of millions of dollars. Many scientists refused to believe Gartler's discovery and continued right on with their work. Though, some realized the importance of knowing of a cell line was contaminated or not and developed processes to do so.

Stanley Gartler

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