The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Part 2

What did you think about the reading?

For this part of the book, I believed it was pretty interesting for what was going on. It was pretty amazing how fast the “HeLa Cells” became popular in such a short amount of time. A good amount of my questions from Part 1 have been answered, and I really can’t wait for what will happen next.

What did you learn?

For this part of the book, I learned a lot of what was happening with the public, and what was happening with Henrietta’s family. In 1951, when polio a epidemic came, George Gey was contacted to see if the “HeLa Cells” had any effect on polio, and he found that they were susceptible to polio. During 1951 and 1954, “HeLa Cells” had made a few breakthroughs through medicine, and people were questioning whose cells was the “HeLa Cells”. Lots of researchers already knew that these cells belonged to Henrietta Lacks, but George Gey was not really sure if it was a good idea for the public to know. Henrietta’s children were not told about there mom’s death. After there was no one to take care of her kids, Henrietta’s cousin Ethel, took care of them, but she treated them like trash, and they were pretty much treated like slaves. During the 1960’s, “HeLa Cells” were everywhere, and anybody could get them from simple things like magazines. NASA even made “HeLa Cells” go to outer space to study them for zero gravity effects. So many things were going on with the public and “HeLa Cells”; they were literally everywhere.

What questions do you still have?

Well after reading this part of the book, most of my questions from Part 1 have been answered, but now I have new questions. Are “HeLa Cells” still being used today? Even after “HeLa Cells” got well known everywhere, did the Lacks family get any compensation. Why was the “HeLa Cells” so easy to obtain? And finally, what will happen next?


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