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Top 40 Book Club : 2011
44 45 Curious, since her school days, about the origins of the HeLA cell – the type most commonly used in research into cancer, AIDS, gene mapping and the effects of radiation and toxic substances – Skloot sets out to examine, not the cell itself, but the people behind this most influential discovery. Expecting nothing more than a heart warming tale of scientific discovery against the odds, she finds instead a twisted and morally ambiguous story of race relations, medical ethics, scientific break-throughs and family. At the very heart of it all is the long dead but ‘immortal’ figure of Henrietta Lacks, an impoverished black woman whose cells, removed with neither her knowledge or permission became both the biological ‘ground zero’ for decades worth of life-saving research as well as personal turmoil for the family she left behind. ‘ ‘ .. .ground zero’ for decades worth of life-saving research ... ThE immorTal liFE oF hEnriETTa lacks // Rebecca skloot NF NF