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A human story; Book SHELF.

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS Rebecca Skloot, Macmillan, pounds 18.99. MANY of medical science's major advances over the last 50 years are due to the unwitting sacrifice of Henrietta Lacks, a young woman who died of cancer in 1951, shortly after a sample of her cells was the first to be cultivated outside the body.

The resulting cell lineage - nicknamed 'HeLa' - is still growing strong today, helping scientists discover cures for everything from polio to Aids.

Yet, far from being a crusader for medical science, Lacks knew nothing of her cells' journey into the history books and didn't even give permission for their cultivation. Here Skloot, a young science journalist, reveals the truth behind the Lack's story, encompassing both the personal and the political connotations of cellular research without losing the thread of a profoundly human story. In her championing of Henrietta and her family, Skloot ensures their immortality just as surely as that of the cells she debates. SARAH WARWICK
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2010
Words:163
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