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Immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks (wikipedia.org)
36 points by ilkhd2 on Feb 1, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

Adam Curtis made a great documentary about Henrietta Lacks 10 years ago called "The Way of All Flesh."

I definitely recommend it: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8448974573505946013

Just finished watching it. The story is truly fascinating. I started off thinking "we have been lucky to find a case like hers". Then I realized that if her cells could practically survive anything, the odds of us finding it are not as bad as they seem.

It is worth noting the real damage that cells such as these have caused in labs all over the world. Given the way they have contaminated lab testing materials, and the they have thrown off results, one has to realize that hardy cells are capable of undermining large categories of tests. Hela cells are now well documented, but how many other such cases are there?

Has anyone ever written a science fiction story based on this?

I don't know about a sci-fi story, but the non-fiction book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot is friggin amazing.

One of the most interesting (for me) facts is that the scientists put this organism into separate family, and in fact, the cells themselves behave more like amoeba, but genetically way different from them,

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