henrietta lacks

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In addition to my own photos herein, Tom McLaughlin posted a nice slide show of the day at his South Boston News & Record. Despite two trees that snapped and fell in my driveway within six feet of my car in an impressive thunderstorm Friday evening, I drove on Saturday morning to Clover, Virginia, for…

This post is the third in a series on the origin and history of HeLa S3 cells. The first post details how I came about to ask this question when launching my independent research laboratory. The second post details the life and careers of the legendary physician-scientist pioneer, Dr. Florence Rena Sabin. Today, we take…

This post is the second in a series on the origin and history of HeLa S3 cells. The first post can be found here. In this post, we discuss the life and careers (yes, careers) of the remarkable physician-scientist, Florence Rena Sabin. “Too bad you’re not a boy, you would have made a good doctor.”…

When I first started my independent academic laboratory in 1992, it was in a brand new facility across the parking lot from a then 40-year-old building named in honor of the woman to the right. I took on a big teaching load from day one and while I had some cash left from the $50,000…

This past weekend’s international science communication conference, ScienceOnline2010, also saw the first, final hardback copies of Rebecca Skloot’s long-awaited book make it into the hands of the science and journalism consuming public. Moreover, an excerpt of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has just appeared in the new issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine. And…

On Friday, I wrote a post about the 20th anniversary of my PhD dissertation defense and my reverence for Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cervical cancer gave rise to the first immortalized human cell line and the primary system for my work. I also alluded to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the upcoming book…

A black woman, a white boy, and a PhD

Twenty years ago this morning, I had to defend a body of work that contained this paragraph on page 24: HeLa cells are a human cervical carcinoma cell line having a doubling time of 24 hr and were obtained from Dr. Bert Flanegan, Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Florida. HeLa cells were maintained…

Hella HeLa! Skloot is PWned, as it were. I learned late last night that author Rebecca Skloot was to be featured on the cover of this week’s issue of Publishers Weekly. So, I clicked on the site this morning before the coffee was even done brewing and there is our wordsmithing hero. I know that…

Some readers may be aware that Rebecca Skloot is about to release her much-anticipated book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a story that is about much more than the black Southern woman whose cervical cancer gave rise to the most famous human cancer cell line. (Crown, 2 Feb 2010, preorder here). HeLa cells, as…