This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Publication Of The He La Cell Genome: Henrietta Lacks And Cervical Cancer

1069 words - 5 pages

Henrietta Lacks, better known as HeLa to scientists around the world, is an African-American woman who unknowingly changed the course of medicine and science. On February 5, 1951, Dr. Howard Jones of Johns Hopkins Hospital, diagnosed Henrietta with cervical cancer. A few days later on February 8, 1951, Henrietta underwent her first radiation treatment for the cervical cancer. The doctors, without Henrietta's permission, took two samples from her cervix: one from the tumor, and one from the healthy cervical tissue. These samples were given to Dr. George Otto Gey, the head of tissue culture research at Johns Hopkins, who cultured them into immortal line of HeLa cells. The HeLa cells have been ...view middle of the document...

Now if researchers wish to access the genomic data, they must submit a request to the NIH. Then, a six member committee, which consists of representatives from the medical, scientific, and bioethics communities, as well as two representatives from the Lacks family, would review the requests and decided whether or not to grant the researchers access to the recently sequenced HeLa cell genome.
The HeLa cell genome was sequenced using Illumina HiSeq 2000 (Landry et al. 2013). First, single DNA molecules and primers are spread out on a flow cell, which are then amplified to produce DNA colonies. Then, reagents including fluorescent nucleotides are flowed onto the DNA colonies, which are allowed to replicate by 1 base. Next, a laser excites the fluorescently labeled nucleotides, while a camera photographs the DNA colonies, to see which colors of light are emitted. By looking at the colors that are emitted from each colony, we can figure out the bases that were added, thus determining the sequence of the short reads of DNA. For the HeLa cell genome, 1 billion reads that were 101 nucleotides long were produced, and they were mapped the the human reference genome (Landry et al. 2013). It is likely that Illumina HiSeq2000 was chosen as the method for sequencing, because it is the quickest and cheapest option. By using the economical Illumina HiSeq 2000, the scientists were quickly able to gain insight to various properties of the HeLa cells, such as what caused Henrietta's cancer to be so aggressive.
The aggressiveness of Henrietta's cancer could be mainly be attributed to loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and partially to chromothripsis. LOH is a chromosomal event in which a gene and its surrounding chromosomal region is lost. This proves to be a problem when an event such as a point mutation inactivates the remaining copy of the antioncogene, which is a gene that prevents the normal cells from transforming into cancerous cells. Evidence of LOH was found in chromosome 11. When a normal, functional copy of chromosome 11 was introduced to the cell, the HeLa cells' characteristic aggressive proliferation phenotype was suppressed (Oshimura et al. 1990). This suggests that there normally are antioncogenes...

Find Another Essay On The Publication of the HeLa Cell Genome: Henrietta Lacks and Cervical Cancer

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1371 words - 6 pages grow cells in his lab for years. In the meantime that Henrietta was recovering from her first treatment with radium, her cells were growing in George Gey’s lab. This all happened without the permission and the informing of Henrietta Lacks. The cells started growing in a unbelievable fast way, they doubled every 24 hours, Henrietta’s cells didn’t seem to stop growing. Henrietta’s cancer cell grew twenty times as fast as her normal healthy cells

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1850 words - 7 pages of not only the importance of the HeLa cells but also Henrietta’s life. Although she was taken from the world too soon, Henrietta Lacks was a warm hearted woman, and though unbeknownst to her, she would pave the way for the medical field and greatly expand our understanding of one of the nation’s greatest killers; cancer. In 1951 people did not talk about cancer lightly; cancer was a very touchy subject, especially for those who knew they

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1575 words - 6 pages The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, talks about the way that Henrietta Lacks’ cells changed the medical history by living for years and years, but many people didn’t know the real story behind the woman with the immortal cells. Other than knowing about the HeLa cells, no one had heard about Henrietta Lacks or how she came to be. Many people didn’t even know that Henrietta was black. No one knew about the life she lived, her family

Analysis of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

3168 words - 13 pages Background of Story The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a true story of a poor, Southern African-American tobacco farmer who died in 1951 at the very young age of 31 years old from cervical cancer. Little did she know that cells harvested from her tumor, which were obtained without her consent have lived on and on and became one of the most important tools in medicine today. Despite Henrietta’s story being full of legal and ethical issues

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Review

989 words - 4 pages In the non-fiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, author Rebecca Skloot sets out to find out the story behind Henrietta Lacks, the woman who was the original source of the famed HeLa cell line. The HeLa cell line is famous for being considered “immortal” as the cells divide without stopping or dying. They have helped scientific research in various areas, although their infinite growth has caused problems in labs as it can outcompete

Book Review: The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks

1325 words - 5 pages simply not fair that Henrietta Lacks’ family cannot obtain the simply medical necessities and furthermore cannot trust any doctor anymore because people in Hopkins took her tissues and cells and exploited them. HeLa cells were one of the greatest medical inventions that came about for the scientific field and yet the woman behind this medical feat is not fully remembered and honored. Her cells and tissue were taken away from her without consent

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Report

1900 words - 8 pages inoperable pancreatic cancer and died soon after. An article about Gey was published and this was the first attribute to Henrietta. Her real name finally came out! Many investigators and scientists tried to contact the family to learn more information. After a big debate, it was figured that John Hopkins had stolen Henrietta’s cells and owed the family millions of dollars. Many tests had been performed and the cell eventually kept “transforming” over the years. It still replicated thought. BBC made a documentary about Henrietta. Today there are still debates over cell testing and samples from people. HeLa continues to grow today and probably will forever.

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks:” Discussing the Bioethical Issues presented in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1027 words - 5 pages behind the cells was cast in the shadows for decades. Henrietta Lacks was a poor African American tobacco farmer from 1950’s Baltimore. After giving birth to her first child, she noticed blood in her urine and went to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. During one of her treatments, cells from her cervix, cancerous and healthy, were removed without her knowledge and permission. These cells were then made into the

Review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

881 words - 4 pages To really understand the plight of the Lacks family one must first know a bit about the scientific culture of the time. Ethics in human research has taken a long time to evolve and that progress came in part due to accounts similar to the life of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot wonderfully weaves several story lines together to cover all sides of single narrative. Whether it be the ruthless forward progress of the medical research machine and the

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

1499 words - 6 pages After her death in 1951, for six decades, Henrietta Lacks did not exist in the eyes of the society, but her cells did. How? Well, the answer is quite simple. HeLa Cells are the first immortal human cells. These cells never die and multiply every twenty-four hours. After spending 10 years to perfect her first book, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot essentially captured the life, the death, and aftermath of Henrietta

Critical Analysis of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

1259 words - 5 pages lab. Usually, every cell will die or survive for a while in the lab. “However, the Henrietta’s cancer cells seemed unstoppable as long as they had food and warmth” (Skloot 65). This was the first immortal human cells that they called HeLa. This name came from the first two letters of the name Henrietta Lacks. After Gey succeeded to find the immortal human cells, he started to sell HeLa cells without Henrietta’s consent. “Gey sells HeLa cells to

Similar Essays

Henrietta Lacks And The Immortal Cell Line

1029 words - 5 pages The use of Henrietta Lacks cells has led to many scientific breakthroughs, e.g., the cure to polio, cloning, and the human genome project. Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. These cells underwent a mutation that caused them to become immortal, meaning that they continue to divide since her death in 1951 to this very day. However, her cells raise an ethical question, because before she died she did

Soul Or Cell?: The Inmortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

844 words - 4 pages Henrietta Lacks was a young African American mother of four children, living a peaceful life in Clover, Virginia in the 1950’s. She was diagnosed with a vicious case of cervical cancer and died on October 4th, 1951. Before she died, a surgeon took samples of her tumor without her knowledge or consent for scientific study. Scientist George Gey was attempting to grow cells that had been removed from the human body, but all the samples collected

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

941 words - 4 pages to develop a culture medium, using a variation of likely nutrients, incorporating chicken plasma, calf fetuses, and human umbilical cord blood. He goes in detail about the sanitation and laboratory procedures working in attempt to grow new cell lines, as the HeLa (first two letters of Henrietta Lacks’ names) cells were prepared. In disparity to previous attempts, the malignant HeLa cells started to grow efficiently. Dr. Gey began giving samples

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks 1196 Words

1196 words - 5 pages distribute them globally. Rebecca Skloot, a science journalist and the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, found interest in the HeLa cell story from a young age. She was determined to find out able the woman behind the cells. Skloot wanted to know who HeLa was and about her story. Skloot writes the novel in an intriguing way, bouncing back and forth between Henrietta’s family’s experiences coming from a struggling tobacco farm, with