Henrietta Project by modesto cortez

Henrietta was an African American lady that had an adenocarcinoma of the cervix. Adenocarcinoma was a cancerous tumor that occurs in certain parts of the body. She was then treated with radium tube inserts. While she was being treated, she had two samples taken from her cervix without her permission or her knowledge. The samples were given to George Gey, a physician at John Hopkins. Gey was able to start a cell line from Lacks's sample by isolating one specific cell and repeatedly dividing it.The cells became known as HeLa cells, because Gey's method for labeling samples was to use the first two letters of the patient's first and last names. Overtime HeLa cells became known as one of the first immortal cells and were soon all over the world.
HeLa cells are a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. The cells came from Henrietta Lacks's cancerous cervical tumor. Her cells are called immortal which means that they do not die after a set number of cell divisions. People have used HeLa strains to develop the polio vaccine. Scientists have also cloned the cells in 1955, as demand grew. Overtime, over ten thousand patents involving HeLa cells have been registered. Researchers have also used the cells to study diseases and as well tested human sensitivity to new products and substances.
In 1952, HeLa cells become the first living cells shipped via postal mail. This allowed scientist all over the world to get Henrietta's cells and do experiments on them.
In 1953, HeLa cells become the first cells ever cloned. Scientists used her cell cloning in isolation of stem cells, vitro fertilization, also to research AIDS, and the effects of radiation and toxic substances.
In 1970, George Gey dies of pancreatic cancer. While he was undergoing an emergency procedure for his cancer, the doctors have figured out that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, his lungs and heart which made him inoperable.
In 1973, the Lacks Family learns for the first time that Henrietta's cells are still alive. When Henrietta died, the Lacks family did not know that her cells were still alive so once they have figured out that her cells were still alive, they were in shock.
In 1985, portions of Henrietta's medical records are published without her family's knowledge or consent. This made the Lacks family explode in rage, because the family did not want Henrietta's medical records to be out in the public.


"The Geys were determined to grow the first immortal human cells: a continuously dividing line of cells all descended from one original sample, cells that would constantly replenish themselves and never die.' (30)

The Geys were consistently determined to find the first ever immortal cell line. They have been looking for years and years from all sorts of cells coming from cows to chickens and mainly humans. George Gey knew that the importance of having an immortal cell line for scientific research would allow scientists to conduct experiments repeatedly and see how the human body would react on the cellular level without using actual humans. Once George Gey discovered HeLa cells, it was revolutionary and would change science and biology forever. This has been an important quote to the story, because the Geys have been searching for an immortal cell line for years and just as they were about to give up, they found what they have been looking for. Without the Geys we would most likely have never known or figured out about Henrietta or her cells. It has truly been amazing on what the Geys have done for biology and science across the world.

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