Henrietta Lack's story has sparked a lot of interest in medical research and medical ethics. Henrietta's cells called the HeLa strain were named after the first two letters of her first and last name. Her cells have been used since 1951 to help scientists learn more about how human cells behave in the laboratory. The study of HeLa cells have attributed significantly to the success of the polio vaccine and many other medical breakthroughs. It was 25 years before the Lack's family knew about the use of Henrietta's cells. Journalist Rebecca Skloot tracks down the source in her new book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Find out more about Henrietta Lacks and why her cells are so important. See photos from Smithsonian.com of Henrietta and David Lacks.
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