Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks -

I have been a student of business and did not quite take to science.  This book however made me wonder.  It raised a lot of questions about cells, pharmaceutical research,  segregation in the 50s and the moral dilemma that is portrayed.

It is a story about how Henrietta's cells multiplied and basically became immortal.  It is said that if  all the HeLa cells that grew were put on a scale, it would weigh 50 million metric tonnes!  Her cells have been instrumental in treating diseases such as cancer, herpes, haemophilia and Parkinson’s. They have been used to study everything from human longevity to mosquito mating. They were shot into space. They were used in atomic bomb testing.

I have to admit the subject fascinated me more than the author's presentation of it - though I commend her for all her efforts in bringing it to the attention of the masses.  I would have never learnt Henrietta's story, had it not been for the novel.  It is still a mystery - who do those cells belong to and who should benefit from the commercialization?

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment