Thursday, February 9, 2012

{books} The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

This was an interesting, balanced, and informative book about not only the "life" of Henrietta Lacks, but also medical research and ethics. I found myself reading page after page, not wanting to put it down. Author Rebecca Skloot clearly did her research -- more than a decade's worth.

 From the synopsis:

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. More....

Since this also is my first post about a book, I'll share with you my favorite place all about books -- It's similar to Facebook where you can share things with friends, but it's so much more. You can make lists of books to read, keep track of the ones you've finished, enter contests, and discover new authors. They also have smart phone apps so you can look at that handy to-read list while you're at the library or book store. All my book club friends are on there and we love to see who's reading what and get ideas of new books to try. I also love reading reviews to help me decide if something really is worth my time and money before I check it out or make a purchase. If you love reading books, I highly suggest you give Goodreads a try!!

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