This book is fascinating.
It is about a woman who died of cervical cancer back in the 1950s. She didn't know it at the time, but a doctor who was treating her took a sample of her cells for lab study. She was a poor, uneducated, African-American woman, so evidently, no one felt the need to let her or her family know such a procedure was taking place.
Lo and behold, Henrietta's cells were unlike any encountered before. They wouldn't die within a few days in culture like all others. Instead, they continued to multiply and thrive. This was a science breakthrough. Because of her "immortal" cells, all sorts of wonderful science progress was made. Her cells were used to create lifesaving vaccines for diseases like polio, they are a key element in many science classrooms and laboratories, they have been duplicated and shipped all over the world, and they have even been in space!
All this has been going on for decades after her death and, until recently, unbeknownst to her family. They have never seen a dime from any of the medical institutions using Henrietta's cells to make HUGE profits, and they can't even afford their own healthcare!
This book is highly relatable because this woman has made such a huge impact on our lives. Her cells have ultimately given us longer life spans and saved us from what were once terminal illnesses. It is shocking that her name is not more widely known.
This book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, who she was, how her family has handled the entire ordeal, and how journalist Rebecca Skloot was able to piece together the puzzle behind the immortal HeLa cells that have had such a profound impact on the world.
The science aspects of the book are thoroughly explained and easy to understand, while the historical aspects read like fiction. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a particular interest in science or anyone who would enjoy reading a biography about someone who could possibly be the most important person in history.
Pick it up today at your Titan Library!