How a Woman Who Died in 1951 Still Helps Medicine Today

June 16, 2023

Decades ago, Henrietta Lacks went to Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore for cervical cancer treatment. Doctors there removed tissue samples without her consent. Those cells were then used for medical research. They became the first to reproduce indefinitely, and have been sold as “HeLa Cells” for experiments. HeLa cells were integral in the creation of the polio vaccine, cancer treatments, genome mapping and getting an accurate count of the number of human chromosomes.

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