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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

(1)
Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.
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.
Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.
Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family-past and present-is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family-especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance?
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Portrait
REBECCA SKLOOT is a science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O - The Oprah Magazine, Discover, Prevention, Glamour and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR´s Radio Lab and PBS´s NOVA scienceNow, and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. Her work has been anthologized in several collections, including The Best Food Writing and The Best Creative Nonfiction. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle, and has taught nonfiction in the creative writing programs at the University of Memphis and the University of Pittsburgh, and science journalism at New York University´s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. She blogs about science, life, and writing at Culture Dish, hosted by Seed magazine. This is her first book.
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 480
Erscheinungsdatum 01.02.2011
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-307-88844-0
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 178/108/32 mm
Gewicht 239
Abbildungen schwarzweisse, farbige Fotos
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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Unbedingt lesen!
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden aus Waiblingen am 08.10.2011

Wirklich Alles rund um die Geschichte der ersten menschlichen Zelllinie, über die schwarze "Spenderin" und ihre Familie, die Behandlung von Krebs im 19. Jahrhundert, die Geschichte der Forschung und der sich verändernden Rolle der Patienten. Rebecca Skloot wurde selbst in diese Geschichte hineingezogen und hat mehr als 10 Jahre... Wirklich Alles rund um die Geschichte der ersten menschlichen Zelllinie, über die schwarze "Spenderin" und ihre Familie, die Behandlung von Krebs im 19. Jahrhundert, die Geschichte der Forschung und der sich verändernden Rolle der Patienten. Rebecca Skloot wurde selbst in diese Geschichte hineingezogen und hat mehr als 10 Jahre dafür recherchiert. Wegen fehlender Aufklärung dachten die Lacks lange, dass an ihrer Mutter herumexperimentiert wird. Dies ist eher ein Roman als eine Dokumentation, lesenswert für alle - ob interessiert an einer Familiengeschichte, die öffentlich wurde, an Krebs, an schwarzen Patienten und weißen Ärzten, oder an Wissenschaft und Medien und wie die Forscher lernen mussten, dass Patienten auch Rechte haben. Sehr authentisch.

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