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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Tekijä: Rebecca Skloot

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut / Maininnat
14,788744384 (4.16)2 / 884
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 140
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (tekijä: Anne Fadiman) (kidzdoc)
  2. 60
    Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (tekijä: Harriet A. Washington) (lives4laughs, fannyprice)
  3. 93
    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (tekijä: Mary Roach) (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: If you like well-researched and well-written non-fiction like "Immortal Life" then you will also appreciate Mary Roach.
  4. 50
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (tekijä: Isabel Wilkerson) (bunnygirl)
    bunnygirl: personal history and stories linked with the larger African American history. if you were wondering about Skloot's reference to the Lacks family being part of the Great Migration, this book explains exactly what it is and tells the stories of three families in a similar manner.… (lisätietoja)
  5. 40
    A Lesson Before Dying (tekijä: Ernest J. Gaines) (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," I was pained by the impoverished lives of people who still lived on plantations in the 1940s - lack of schooling, lack of health care, lack of any kind of decent housing etc. "A Lesson Before Dying" more directly addresses the life of people still living on plantations in the '40s. Even though I sort of knew this, it was an emotional shock to truly recognize that all the abuse and oppression did not end with the Civil War but was still there 80 years later.… (lisätietoja)
  6. 30
    The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients (tekijä: Sonia Shah) (legxleg)
  7. 30
    Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (tekijä: Brenda Maddox) (beyondthefourthwall)
  8. 41
    Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance (tekijä: Atul Gawande) (Othemts)
  9. 20
    The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War (tekijä: Eileen Welsome) (barbharris1)
  10. 20
    The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (tekijä: John M. Barry) (LKAYC)
  11. 20
    The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon (tekijä: Robert Whitaker) (sboyte)
    sboyte: Fascinating stories of the people behind great scientific discoveries.
  12. 10
    Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell (tekijä: Boyce Rensberger) (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Cell cultures are being used to study diseases as well as cure them. Learn about the cell cultures called 'HeLa' in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and read about cell cultures' utility as a whole in Life Itself.
  13. 21
    The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess (tekijä: Jeff Wheelwright) (LeesyLou)
    LeesyLou: If you have an interest in the social and personal ethics and background of medical care, this adds to your understanding. Minority cultures and personal medical ethics are equally poorly understood by many practitioners.
  14. 10
    The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us (tekijä: Carolyn Abraham) (sboyte)
  15. 10
    The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee (tekijä: Marja Mills) (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: In both books, journalists get personally involved with their subjects.
  16. 10
    The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It (tekijä: Ricki Lewis) (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both of these books capture and humanize the process of medical discovery and the experiences of the patients. Although the authors have somewhat different backgrounds — Rebecca Skloot is a journalist with an undergraduate degree in biology, whereas Rikki Lewis has a PhD in genetics — I think the discussion of the scientific issues and the ethical issues regarding informed consent would appeal to the same readers.… (lisätietoja)
  17. 10
    Truevine (tekijä: Beth Macy) (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Unusual medical conditions and racism as experienced by African Americans in the Jim Crow South.
  18. 12
    Kuka on Jenna Fox? (tekijä: Mary E. Pearson) (macart3)
    macart3: Deals with bioethics and human experimentation without others' consent.
  19. 13
    Tissue and cell donation : an essential guide (tekijä: Ruth M. Warwick) (Limelite)
    Limelite: Scientific discussion of medical/ethical, and other considerations regarding patients' rights and the medical profession's responsibilities on the subject, as well as other pertinent procedures.
  20. 04
    The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories (tekijä: Pagan Kennedy) (Othemts)

(katso kaikki 20 suositusta)

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englanti (733)  hollanti (1)  ranska (1)  ruotsi (1)  katalaani (1)  japani (1)  saksa (1)  Kaikki kielet (739)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 739) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In 1951, a 30 year-old black woman, a mother of five, walked into Johns Hopkins and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She underwent treatment, but didn't survive very long. While she was being treated, a sample was taken of her cervical cells, both the cancerous and non-cancerous ones. Each was cultivated, but while the latter cells died, the former grew and wouldn't stop growing. As was the custom at the time in that lab, the cell line was named after the person it came from: the first two letters of the first name, then the first two of the last. Henrietta Lacks. HeLa. One of the most widely used cell lines in the world for decades, but the person behind it was lost and some people even thought the original donor's name was Helen Lane...until Rebecca Skloot published The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which told the story of the woman and her descendants for the first time.

Well, "donor" might not have been the correct word to use up there, because Henrietta didn't knowingly "donate" anything. Instead, the doctors working on her took the samples without bothering to ask her permission, which was standard practice at the time. And the ethics of this sort of thing, the evolution of informed consent, is a key part of the book, which Skloot weaves around the story of the Lacks family. How fast medical science has grown, and how slow the field's understanding of or willingness to comply with what is right has been in trying to keep up with it. In a world where all you need to get a basic understanding of your genetic picture is $100, to spit in a tube, and 6-8 weeks for processing, what kind of protections should be around that data? We likely still don't know the full implications of something like that being hacked or leaked.

This book has become a science classic already, and it's easy to see why: Skloot is a talented storyteller, and for most of the book's run does an admirable job of keeping her three pieces (Henrietta herself, the HeLa cells/medical ethics, and the story of the Lacks children) in balance. She does great work in digging up what little information there is about Henrietta's short life, mostly through the connections she managed to build with the children Lacks left behind. I've got some grounding in science research from my days as a psychology student, and I know about some of the more egregious bullshit doctors used to get up to (especially with the poor and people of color), but even I was shocked at how lax regulations on human research used to be and how deeply the focus was on getting data at any costs. I was chilled by the story she recounts of a researcher, who the Lacks children believe was untruthful with them when she encountered them years before the book was written, expressing her longing to be able to get material (i.e. blood) from those same people to perform tests.

The reason I haven't rated this more highly, then, is that it starts to drag at the end, becoming more a story about how the story was reported, which tends to bother me unless it's in small doses. It's clearly rooted in a deep, real fondness for Deborah Lacks, one of her primary sources, and a desire to do justice to her story too...but for me, it didn't have the power of the larger narrative and didn't quite work. That being said, this is a story everyone should read and I definitely recommend it to a wide audience. ( )
  ghneumann | Jun 14, 2024 |
This book was stupendous. Henrietta Lacks' story was both sad and angering. The treatment she underwent for her tumor seems barbaric now, though it was state of the art then. And it's hard not to see the researchers as callous, caring more about the tumor cells than the woman.

Rebecca Skloot spent many years writing this book, and the detail is wonderful. She paints a sympathetic picture of Henrietta's family and what they went through during Henrietta's life and after her death. She is unflinching in her descriptions of the hair-raising things that researchers did to other people in the name of science.

In the end there are no pat resolutions on the subject of medical ethics, tissue rights, etc. There is plenty of food for thought, though.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm glad my sister made me read it. ( )
  Bookladycma | May 18, 2024 |
Well-spoken and a talent for piecing a story together for optimum comprehension, Rebecca Skloot does a remarkable job of immersing the reader in the fears and joys of Debra Lacks and her siblings, as she relates the story of their mother, Henrietta Lacks, who, in 1951, when dying of cancer--complicated by syphilis, provided the gift of her cancer cells, which have lived on to provide a window into the mysterious biological mechanisms of life itself. If you thought biology was a bit too cold and scientific a subject, devoid of villains or heroes, think again. Depending on where I was, I alternated formats on this book, reading it both as an e-book and an audio. Each has its special benefits. Cassandra Campbell is a fabulous reader, and you really don’t want to miss the concluding author interview on the audio, but the photos of the characters in the print version should not be missed either.
( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
I was really moved by this story. I don't read much nonfiction, but am very glad I made time for this one. It's filled with important information about Henrietta, the cells that have done so much for science, and the wreckage and pain that is often left behind when a loved one is lost, particularly in difficult circumstances. I learned so much, but also found myself very involved in the Lacks family's struggle. It's sad, touching, and finally hopeful. ( )
  rknickme | Mar 31, 2024 |
I waited about 2 years for this to become available at the library but was not disappointed.
A controversial subject dealt with in a thoughtful and balanced way ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 739) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace. She also confronts the spookiness of the cells themselves, intrepidly crossing into the spiritual plane on which the family has come to understand their mother’s continued presence in the world. Science writing is often just about “the facts.” ­Skloot’s book, her first, is far deeper, braver and more wonderful.
 
I put down Rebecca Skloot’s first book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” more than once. Ten times, probably. Once to poke the fire. Once to silence a pinging BlackBerry. And eight times to chase my wife and assorted visitors around the house, to tell them I was holding one of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time.
 
Writing with a novelist's artistry, a biologist's expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family, all driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force.
lisäsi sduff222 | muokkaaBooklist, Donna Seaman (Dec 1, 2009)
 
Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in a “colored” hospital ward in Baltimore in 1951. She would have gone forever unnoticed by the outside world if not for the dime-sized slice of her tumor sent to a lab for research eight months earlier. ...
Skloot, a science writer, has been fascinated with Lacks since she first took a biology class at age 16. As she went on to earn a degree in the subject, she yearned to know more about the woman, anonymous for years, who was responsible for those ubiquitous cells....
 
Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people.
lisäsi Shortride | muokkaaPublishers Weekly
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (9 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Rebecca Sklootensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Campbell, CassandraKertojapäätekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Turpin, BahniKertojapäätekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Acedo, Sara R.Kannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Grip, GöranKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Townsend, MandaValokuvaajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For my family:

My parents, Betsy and Floyd; their spouses, Terry and Beverly;
my brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Renee;
and my wonderful nephews, Nick and Justin.
They all did without me for far too long because of this book,
but never stopped believing in it, or me.

And in loving memory of my grandfather,
James Robert Lee (1912-2003),
who treasured books more than anyone I've known.
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
On January 29, 1951, David Lacks sat behind the wheel of his old Buick, watching the rain fall.
This is a work of non-fiction. (A Few Words About This Book)
There's a photo of a woman I've never met, its left corner torn and patched together with tape. (Prologue)
When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, their first question is usually Wasn't it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta's cells without her knowledge? Don't doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research?
Sitaatit
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...But I always have thought it was strange, if our mother cells done so much for medicine, how come her family can't afford to see no doctors? Don't make no sense. People got rich off my mother without us even knowin about them takin her cells, now we don't get a dime. I used to get so mad about that to where it made me sick and I had to take pills. But I don't got it in me no more to fight. I just want to know who my mother was.
----Deborah Lacks
When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, the first question is usually Wasn't it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta's cells without her knowledge? Don't doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research? The answer is no--not in 1951, and not in 2009, when this book went to press.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (5)

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

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